It's just week two of the 2016-17 Ashland University athletic season, but it promises to be one to remember.
All but one Eagle fall team will be in action, and the weekend will feature honoring a 2016 College Football Hall of Famer, christening an upgraded and expanded facility and the first home game for a reinstated program.
FOOTBALL – The Eagles (1-0) will play their second of three straight home games to open 2016, and the fifth of six consecutive games at Jack Miller Stadium/Martinelli Field spanning two seasons when they welcome Wayne State (1-0) on Saturday (Sept. 10) at 7 p.m.
The game will feature Bill Royce Recognition Weekend, as the former AU All-American defensive lineman will be honored for his impending induction into the College Football Hall of Fame in December.
WOMEN'S TENNIS – Ashland starts its 2016 season at home on Saturday at noon against Wayne State and Sunday (Sept. 11) at 1 p.m. against Hillsdale. They will be the first matches for first-year head coach Lexi Bolesky.
They also will be the first matches for the Eagles at their newly-renovated and expanded tennis courts off Broad Street. A ceremony dedicating the revamped courts will take place following Saturday's match.
MEN'S SOCCER – The Eagles (1-0), coming off a double-overtime win at Daemen in the 2016 opener, will play at Ferguson Field for the first time since Oct. 26, 2012, when they play host to Northern Michigan on Friday (Sept. 9) at 7 p.m.
Ashland's first home game comes nearly a full calendar year since the program was reinstated on Sept. 30, 2015.
WOMEN'S SOCCER – Fresh off going 1-0-1 in road games against 2015 NCAA Division II postseason foes, Ashland will play its first two home games of 2016 this week.
The Eagles will continue their non-conference schedule at Ferguson Field on Tuesday (Sept. 6) at 6 p.m. against West Liberty, then on Sunday at 1 p.m. vs. Clarion.
VOLLEYBALL – The Eagles have started a season at 4-0 for the second year in a row, and they begin preparations for a beefed-up four-match weekend at the University of Indianapolis Tournament on Friday and Saturday.
Ashland will play Truman (11:30 a.m.) and West Texas A&M (5:30 p.m.) on Friday, and North Alabama (noon) and Tampa (6 p.m.) on Saturday. Tampa was ranked No. 7 in the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Division II Coaches Top 25 Preseason Poll, while North Alabama, like AU, received votes.
WOMEN'S GOLF – The Eagles begin their fall non-championship season on Monday (Sept. 5) and Tuesday (Sept. 6) at the Youngstown State Kickoff at Mill Creek North Golf Course.
Ashland will join YSU, Cleveland State, Dayton, Indiana State and Northern Kentucky in the six-team field.
MEN'S GOLF – Ashland will start its fall non-championship portion of the schedule on Friday and Saturday at the Malone Fall Classic at Tannenhauf Golf Course in Alliance, Ohio.
This week's opener will serve as a warmup prior to the first Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference competition of 2016-17, the GLIAC North Tournament on Sept. 17-18.