The 2016-17 Ashland University athletics season moves into mid-January, and this week's schedule, while relatively light, has plenty of importance.
Ashland women's and men's basketball teams go on the road for the first time in 2017, the wrestling team plays host to two home duals and the men's and women's indoor track and field teams continue the quest for spots at NCAA Division II nationals.
WOMEN'S BASKETBALL (LINK) – The No. 1-ranked Eagles (18-0 overall, 10-0 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference), one of just four undefeated teams in Division II, go on the road for the first time since Dec. 30 when they travel to Lake Erie (7-9, 5-5) on Thursday (Jan. 19) at 5:30 p.m.
Ashland has a four-game lead over second-place Ohio Dominican in the GLIAC South Division with 10 games to play. The Eagles have won nine straight road games going back to last season – five short of the program record.
ONE TO WATCH: Junior forward/center Laina Snyder is the GLIAC's third-leading scorer (18.0 ppg.), and the circuit's leader in rebounding (9.9 rpg.) and steals (3.5 spg.).
MEN'S BASKETBALL (LINK) – Thanks to a three-game winning streak, Ashland (10-6, 5-5) is back in the conversation for both the 2017 GLIAC Tournament and a third straight GLIAC South title. The Eagles will go to Lake Erie (3-15, 2-8) on Thursday at 7:30 p.m., then come home to finish non-conference play at home against Ohio Mid-Western on Saturday (Jan. 21) at 1 p.m.
Ashland is 1½ games behind Findlay for first place in the GLIAC South, and a half-game behind second-place Walsh. In the highly-competitive league as a whole, the Eagles are 2½ games behind first-place Ferris State.
ONE TO WATCH: Sophomore forward Phil Frentsos has scored at least 10 points in four of the last six games, averaging 9.7 points per game in that stretch.
WRESTLING (LINK) – The No. 13-ranked Eagles (2-2) will have two home duals this week – vs. Lourdes on Wednesday (Jan. 18) at 7 p.m. and against future GLIAC foe Davenport on Friday (Jan. 20) at 7 p.m.
So far this season, Ashland has won duals against East Stroudsburg (41-12) and West Liberty (37-9), and lost vs. No. 8 Pitt-Johnstown (24-16) and No. 2 Notre Dame College (22-15).
ONE TO WATCH: Junior 197-pounder Luke Cramer is 16-3 this season, and is ranked ninth nationally and third in Super Region II.
INDOOR TRACK AND FIELD (LINK) – Ashland's men and women, each ranked No. 6 in Division II, continue their regular-season schedule on Saturday at the Tiffin Dragon Open.
The Eagles boast five automatic and 21 provisional marks for 2017 Division II indoor nationals, March 10-11 in Birmingham, Ala.
ONE TO WATCH: Senior Elijah Talk has the second-best men's shot put distance in the country this season at 17.92 meters/58-feet-9½.