Ashland University's first NCAA Division II postseason team of the 2016-17 school year is volleyball, and the Eagles will begin their playoff run on Thursday (Dec. 1) afternoon.
Meanwhile, the entire winter sports season will be in full swing this week, as the men's and women's indoor track and field teams will begin their new campaigns.
VOLLEYBALL (LINK) – The No. 6-seed Eagles (23-10) will take a stretch of 13-2 in their last 15 matches into a D-II Midwest Region quarterfinal on Thursday at 2:30 p.m. against No. 3-seed Lewis (25-7), which has won nine of its last 10. A win would put Ashland in a semifinal match on Friday (Dec. 2) at 5 p.m., and the regional final is Saturday (Dec. 3) at 4 p.m.
ONE TO WATCH: Senior outside hitter Alli Cudworth has 470 kills, 57 service aces, 64 total blocks and 561.5 points in 33 matches.
WOMEN'S BASKETBALL (LINK) – No. 3-ranked Ashland (6-0) will begin Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference play on Thursday at 5:30 p.m. at Lake Superior State (1-5) and Saturday at 1 p.m. at Northwood (2-1). The Eagles are 22-4 in their last 26 games away from Kates Gymnasium.
ONE TO WATCH: Senior guard Kelsey Peare is hitting 72.2 percent from 3-point range and 64.7 percent from the field, and has an assist-to-turnover ratio of 5.3-to-1.
MEN'S BASKETBALL (LINK) – The Eagles (4-1) will go into GLIAC play to begin the month of December, traveling to Lake Superior State (2-1) on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. and Northwood (0-7) on Saturday at 3 p.m. Since the start of the 2015-16 season, Ashland is 13-4 in its last 17 games away from home.
ONE TO WATCH: Sophomore guard Ben Haraway is averaging 11.8 points, 3.8 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game while shooting 50 percent from the field.
WRESTLING (LINK) – No. 11-ranked Ashland will continue its long road stretch to start 2016-17 with three dual matches this week – Friday at 7 p.m. at Pitt-Johnstown and Sunday (Dec. 4) at 1 p.m. against West Liberty and East Stroudsburg.
ONE TO WATCH: Senior 133-pounder Michael Labry (125 wins) needs just three more victories to become the Eagles' all-time leader, passing Corey Kline at 127.
SWIMMING/DIVING (LINK) – The Eagle men and women will go on the road for the second time this season when they go to the two-day Eastern Michigan Invitational on Friday (3:30 p.m.) and Saturday (10 a.m./6 p.m.). This will be Ashland's last action in the 2016 calendar year.
ONE TO WATCH: At home against Tiffin on Nov. 18-19, junior Ryan Deemer earned wins in the mixed 800-yard freestyle relay (7:44.24), mixed 3x500 free relay (15:32.96), men's 1,650 free (16:51.27), men's 500 free (4:54.19) and men's 800 free relay (7:16.55).
INDOOR TRACK AND FIELD (LINK) – Ashland's men and women will begin their 2016-17 season on Saturday at noon at the Tiffin Alumni Open. The Eagles will have two meets in December before competing weekly starting in early January.
ONE TO WATCH: Senior Jordan Crayon will begin the hunt for a second straight national title in the weight throw after accomplishing the feat at 21.81 meters in 2016.