The William Woods University Lady Owls basketball team won't be making a trip to Billings, Mont., to compete against the nation's best.
The NAIA announced Thursday it was cancelling all of its remaining winter championships — including the women's Division I national basketball tournament — due to concerns over the coronavirus.
"The health and safety of our student-athletes, as well as all involved in our championship events, is the NAIA's highest priority," the NAIA said in a statement from its headquarters in Kansas City, Mo. "We will continue to monitor COVID-19 developments and NAIA leadership will work closely with our member institutions to determine the best path forward for future NAIA events, including all spring 2020 championships."
No. 25 William Woods (25-7) had just earned an at-large bid to the 40th-annual women's national basketball tournament Wednesday night. The tournament was scheduled March 18-24 in Billings.
Per a tweet from @WWUWBB, "National Tournament cancelled ... not the way we wanted to end our season. However, we are so proud of our Lady Owls.
"Being selected as one of the 32 teams to compete at Nationals is an honor in itself. And thank you to the fans and supporters for sticking by us this season."
Meanwhile, Westminster College's baseball and softball teams on Thursday both cancelled their scheduled spring break trips to Florida starting this weekend because of concerns over coronavirus.
The Westminster baseball team (7-6) was set to play five games in the RussMatt Invitational starting Sunday and continuing through March 21 in Auburndale and Winter Haven, Fla.
According to a tweet from @WestminsterBase, "We are saddened for our players, coaches, and families on the loss of an opportunity but the safety of our athletes is of the utmost importance. We apologize to everyone for the late cancellation.
"Updates and information will be given as soon as possible. We have amazing young men in this program who will continue to work hard and do things the right way."
The Westminster softball team (2-2) was scheduled to play eight games in The Spring Games beginning Saturday and continuing through March 18 in Clermont, Fla.
Per a tweet from @westmosoftball, " Even though we are sad about missing softball games in the sunshine, our number one priority is to keep our student athletes safe. We will be working hard to find games in the mid Missouri area over break.
"We will update everyone when we have more information. Again thank you to our families and friends for always supporting us! We are sorry for the sudden change of plans. Wish there was more we could do for you all. Going to keep our heads up and push forward."
Ryan Boland can be reached at (573) 826-2422, or on Twitter @FultonSunSports.