North Dakota Women to Begin WCHA Play in 2004

The WCHA has voted unanimously to admit North Dakota’s women’s team beginning with the 2004-05 season.

The addition of the Sioux brings the number of women’s WCHA teams to eight and marks the first expansion of the four-year-old league.

North Dakota joins Bemidji State, Minnesota, Minnesota-Duluth, MSU-Mankato, Ohio State, St. Cloud State and Wisconsin as women’s WCHA members.

UND, which played its inaugural season as a Division I women’s team in 2002-03, will also be eligible for postseason competition in 2004-05.

The Sioux played as a Division I Independent in 2002-03 and finished 10-14-2. UND played 12 nonleague games against WCHA teams, going 2-9-1 with wins over Bemidji State and MSU-Mankato.

The WCHA admitted UND to the women’s league without lifting its current moratorium on expansion, due to the institution’s membership in the men’s league and the benefits that long-standing membership provided.

UND will compete as a Division I Independent again in 2003-04 before joining the WCHA the following season.