MILWAUKEE -- The inaugural Women's College Tipoff Tournament is set for the opening weekend of the 2012-13 season at host Alverno College's Reiman Gymnasium. The event features four women's colleges in a traditional bracketed tournament format.
The opening game pits Mount Mary College against St. Catherine University on Saturday at 5 p.m., while Stephens College will take on host Alverno in the 7 p.m. headliner. The consolation game will take place Sunday at 1 p.m., while the two first-round winners will square off in the championship game at 3 p.m.
Mount Mary, a NCAA Division III Independent, finished last season with a 7-12 record. The Blue Angels faced crosstown-rival Alverno twice last season and were defeated in both occasions. Michelle Guyant-Holloway takes over as new head coach of the Blue Angels this season.
St. Catherine, a member of the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, finished 1-24 overall and 0-22 in the MIAC last season. Coach Sean Pinkerton begins his first season as interim head coach of the Wildcats, replacing Gary Rufsvold, who spent 12 years with the program. Of the tournament opponents, the Wildcats have faced Alverno most recently, which was a win in the championship game of the 2008 Alverno Classic.
Stephens, the only non-NCAA III program, finished last season 2-27 overall and 1-13 in the NAIA's America Midwest Conference. The Stars -- lead by first-year head coach Chris Duncan -- have already begun their '12-13 season and have three games under their belts for a 1-2 opening-week record. Alverno lost to the Stars back in January of 2008, the most recent of five all-time meetings.
Host Alverno, a member of the Northern Athletics Conference, compiled a 9-16 overall record and 5-13 in the NAC. Brad Duckworth enters his sixth season as head coach of the Inferno and is the only tenured coach in the tournament. All-time, the Inferno is 13-0 versus Mount Mary, 0-1 against St. Catherine and 3-2 versus Stephens.
Alverno will provide live stats and video of all four games via athletics.alverno.edu.