CLEVELAND – The Southern New Hampshire University athletic department finished 79th in the final release of the Learfield Sports Directors' Cup standings Thursday, as it totaled 267.00 points for its fifth best finish ever.
The Penmen, who land inside the top 100 for the seventh consecutive season, are the fifth-ranked Northeast-10 institution in the standings, which include 268 Division II schools. The Penmen had steadily improved since being ranked 138th over a half a decade ago, including three straight top-80 finishes that culminated in their top showing at No. 41 in 2015-16. After jumping up to 89 last season, SNHU is back in the top 80 for the fifth time.
Southern New Hampshire had a total of five teams compete in NCAA Championships, claiming more than 80 percent of its points thanks to a strong spring. Baseball collected the highest number of points with 83 for winning the NCAA East Region title, advancing to the NCAA National Championship and ending the year as a national semifinalist. Women's soccer earned the only non-spring points for the Penmen with 50 in the fall for capturing the Northeast-10 title and a spot in the NCAA Tournament, where it won its first round match. Men's tennis matched those 50 points by winning its third straight conference crown and moving onto the NCAA postseason, and recording its first victory. Men's golf totaled up 46.5 points following a seventh-place showing at the NCAA Atlantic/East Regional, with softball adding on 37.5 points, as it traveled into the semifinals of the NCAA East Regional.
The Learfield Directors' Cup was developed as a joint effort between the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) and USA Today. With the updated scoring system, all scores are counted for men's and women's basketball, baseball and women's volleyball. Additionally, only up to 11 other of the highest scores are included in the final score.
For the latest on Southern New Hampshire University athletics, follow the Penmen via social media on Twitter, Facebook, Youtubeand Instagram. Sign up to receive text message alerts and e-mail newsletters about your favorite Penmen teams here.