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Jimmies to face familiar Cardinal Stritch

University of Jamestown's Allison Jablonsky looks to move the ball past Lexi Lennon of Valley City State during the NSAA championship game last Sunday at Harold Newman Arena. John M. Steiner / The Sun

Jimmie women's basketball will rekindle an old postseason flame in the opening round of the NAIA Division II national tournament.

University of Jamestown will play Cardinal Stritch University (Wisc.) at 10:15 a.m. next Wednesday, March 7, to open play at the Tyson Events Center in Sioux City, Iowa. The Jimmies and the Wolves from Milwaukee have a history.

Cardinal Stritch knocked off a Hannah Steele-led, and No. 3-ranked, Jimmie women's team 76-54 in the NAIA Sweet Sixteen back in 2014. Jamestown, however, turned the tables on the Wolves with a 58-53 victory in the same round in 2015.

Cardinal Stritch is coached by John Pfaffl. Pfaffl has guided the Wolves for eight seasons and has an impressive coaching record of 202-60.

"John is a great coach. He's very organized, and he's very detailed and does his homework," said Jimmie women's basketball head coach Greg Ulland. "We know they are going to be very, very prepared for us in all the things that we've done.

"But the one thing we got going for us is we're not really sure what we're going to do yet."

The eighth-ranked Jimmies fell to Valley City State University by six points in last Sunday's North Star Athletic Association conference tournament championship at Harold Newman Arena. Conference MVP, Jimmie senior guard Bryn Woodside, was in uniform with a brace over her injured right knee but didn't play.

The Jimmies (29-4) are seeded eighth overall in the tournament and second in their quadrant, which includes second-ranked Concordia (Neb.). Jamestown will play either Indiana Tech (29-3) or Bryan (Tenn.) (25-9) Friday at 8:30 a.m. should it get past the 19-10 Cardinal Stritch Wolves of the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference.

Valley City State plays St. Francis (Ill.) Thursday at 1:45 p.m. The Jimmie women are making their seventh straight appearance in the national tournament and are one win shy of a new program single-season record.

"Cardinal Stritch is always in the top 10 every year on defense," Ulland said. "It's going to be a tough matchup. They like to slow things down, and we obviously like to get things going.

"But we're just happy to be playing in the national tournament and get another chance at it."