The women’s basketball team hoped to build on their successful season with an at-large bid to the WNIT.

But, the field, announced Monday night, omitted the Stags.

“We are obviously disappointed that we were not selected to play in the WNIT,” said Head Coach Joe Frager in a press release. “I felt that the season we had was worthy of an opportunity for postseason play, but we will use this as a motivating factor as we head into our offseason.”

Fairfield boasted a 22-9 overall record and a 12-8 MAAC record. The 22 wins were tied for the fourth most in program history. The Stags were also ranked 75th nationally in RPI according to realtimerpi.com

RPI is a ranking system which ranks teams based on their wins, strength of schedule and opponents strength of schedule. The Stags had a RPI better than six of the teams selected for the 17 at-large bid to the WNIT and were competitive with every other team. Twelve of the teams had non-winning conference records.

Both South Carolina and Mississippi State went 4-11 in the SEC and had RPIs over 110, but both benefited from playing some of the top teams in the nation in their conference.

Fairfield had some quality wins over schools such as Boston College, Richmond, Harvard and Sacred Heart, but mid-major schools typically have a low strength of schedule. The Stags’ schedule was ranked 168th out of 340 teams.

It’s possible that the Stags were only one win away from a berth. Villanova received an at-large bid with a 15-15 record. Teams with losing records are not considered and Fairfield narrowly lost to Villanova in November. A win there would have knocked the Wildcats out of the tournament and boosted Fairfield’s chances.

The Stags will now begin to prepare for next season when they will add incoming recruits Sarah Paulus, a top-150 recruit, Desiree Pina and Taryn Johnson to their four returning starters. But, Fairfield will miss seniors Sabra Wrice, Meka Werts and Stephanie Cziria.

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