Lock Haven University announces plans to add 2 new Division II varsity sports

LOCK HAVEN — Lock Haven University has announced plans to add two new Division II varsity sports — women’s tennis and women’s golf — over a two-year period.

The two-year phase-in will give LHU time for facilities planning and robust recruitment for golf, which has never existed as a varsity sport at the university. LHU previously had a women’s tennis team and currently has a co-ed golf club.

“Lock Haven University is pleased to announce the addition of women’s tennis and women’s golf to our portfolio of DII varsity teams,” said Dr. Donna Wilson, LHU provost and executive vice president. “We expect the addition to enhance opportunities for current and future women student-athletes to compete at a high level, and we believe it will make Lock Haven University even more attractive to prospective students and their families. We look forward to fielding highly-competitive teams and to contributing even further to the great Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference.” Wilson also is the administrator with direct oversight of the Athletics Department at LHU.

Seven NCAA regulation tennis courts are currently available on the LHU campus and the new tennis team will begin practice and competition in the fall of 2019. LHU plans to seek arrangements for practice and competition at an area golf club for the new golf team, which will begin the following fall of 2020. Both teams will have a target roster of 10 student-athletes.

“By expanding the university’s portfolio of varsity sports through the addition of women’s golf and women’s tennis, we will be able to give more women student-athletes the opportunity to participate in a highly competitive DII conference,” said Robert Pignatello, LHU president. “We can expect to recruit talented athletes among current students and from very competitive high school players in Pennsylvania and the region.”

Both women’s tennis and golf are offered at the high school level in Pennsylvania and the surrounding states. Tennis is the seventh most popular women’s sport nationwide and golf is eighth.

“Adding women’s golf and tennis is good for the varsity athletics program and good for the university. I look forward to welcoming the new coaches and new student-athletes to our outstanding Bald Eagles athletics department,” said Dr. Tom Gioglio, director of athletics at LHU.