Newberry College leadership announced the addition of women's lacrosse as the College's 16th intercollegiate varsity sports program. Emily Bikowski will serve as the program's first head coach, with the Wolves taking to the field for the 2012 spring season.
"Women's lacrosse is a very exciting sport and one which we're pleased to provide as a new opportunity for student-athletes to participate in," said Vice President of Intercollegiate Athletics and Athletic Director Brad Edwards. "Women’s lacrosse has long been associated with institutions in the Northeast and is beginning to find a foothold in the south. Therefore, this is a timely addition, with a sport that will start to gather more attention in the region as time goes on. There are a number of Division II as well as some Division I programs in the Carolinas with which an instant rivalry can be developed."
“I would like to thank the College for the opportunity to help establish the first varsity women's lacrosse program here at Newberry College," Bikowski said. "Newberry College's strong commitment to academics in conjunction with athletics is a focus I hope to enhance and promote as we look to develop the program and its commitment to excellence both on and off the field.”
Bikowski comes to Newberry after a season as an assistant coach at Limestone College, helping lead the Saints to the Division II National Championship game and a No. 2 national ranking. Bikowski was a four-year letter-winner at Longwood University in Virginia and garnered numerous honors during her playing career. She was a three-time IWLCA Division II All-American from 2002-04. She was honored as the 2003 Division II Midfielder of the Year by WomensLacrosse.com and was named all-NCAA Tournament twice.
She was first team Carolina-Virginia Athletic Conference All-Academic in 2004 and was a three-time first team all-state honoree by VaSID, the Virginia Sports Information Directors society.
In addition to her time at Limestone and Longwood, Bikowski also has experience as a high school head coach, at Columbia's Richland Northeast HS in 2010 and at Bishop O'Connell HS in Arlington, Va. - her alma mater - from 2006-08.
Professionally, Bikowski has served as a teaching assistant at the University of South Carolina, taught high school science classes at Bishop O’Connell and has also conducted significant field research in the archaeology and anthropology fields.
She was an archaeological field employee at Longwood and served as the Assistant Editor of the Journal of Southeastern Archaeology. Additionally, she published a journal article (2007) as a result of her work in the field and was awarded a Jamestowne Society Grant to pursue historical research (2005). Bikowski currently holds a Bachelor of Science in Anthropology from Longwood (2006) and will soon complete her Master’s in Archaeology from the University of South Carolina.
The Wolves' lacrosse team will play its games at historic Setzler Field on artificial turf. Newberry will be one of only five women's lacrosse teams in the Carolinas with a turf field as its primary facility, joining Davidson College, Guilford College, High Point University and Queens University of Charlotte.
The Wolves will be the fifth women's lacrosse team in the state of South Carolina. Fellow Division II opponents Converse College in Spartanburg, Erskine College in Due West and Limestone College in Gaffney currently play women's lacrosse, as does Presbyterian College in Clinton at the Division I level. Coastal Carolina University in Conway and Winthrop University in Rock Hill have announced their intentions to field teams in 2013 at the Division I level. A total of 61 institutions sponsored Division II women's lacrosse for the 2011 season nationwide.
For information on how to play for Wolves women's lacrosse contact Bikowski at (803) 315-5199 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
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