The fall 2016 season continues for Ashland University athletics, but the winter 2016-17 campaign is creeping into the conversation, as well.
Nine programs are in action in the third week of October, and the first Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference titles will be contested with the 2016 Cross Country Championships at Ferris State.
FOOTBALL – The No. 11-ranked Eagles (6-1) go out of conference for a week to travel to Owensboro, Ky., and take on Kentucky Wesleyan (1-6) on Saturday (Oct. 22) at 2 p.m. Eastern, 1 p.m. local. Ashland won its last regular-season non-conference game in Week 1 at home against Mercyhurst.
ONE TO WATCH: Senior inside linebacker Zach Olszewski has a team-high 56 total tackles to go with a sack, three tackles for loss, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery.
CROSS COUNTRY – Ashland's men and women will take part in the 2016 GLIAC Championships at Katke Golf Course in Big Rapids, Mich., on Saturday. The women's 6K race will start at 11 a.m., with the men's 8K to follow at 11:45 a.m.
ONE TO WATCH: Senior Nick Hall won the men's individual conference title, and was the GLIAC Men's Runner of the Year, in 2014.
VOLLEYBALL – Coming off a 3-0 showing at the 2016 Mizuno Midwest Region Volleyball Crossover, the Eagles (13-8 overall, 4-5 GLIAC) will return to Kates Gymnasium for just their fourth and fifth home matches of 2016. Ashland will take on Northwood (12-7, 3-5) on Friday (Oct. 21) at 7 p.m. and Hillsdale (13-6, 5-3) on Saturday at 2 p.m.
ONE TO WATCH: Senior outside hitter Alli Cudworth (879 digs) needs 121 digs to become the program's third 1,000-1,000 career kills-digs player, joining Mary Kate Glowe and fellow senior OH Casey Clark, who joined the club at the Crossover.
WOMEN'S SOCCER – Ashland (8-2-3, 5-2-1) begins a regular-season-ending three-game road trip on Friday at 5 p.m. at Michigan Tech (9-2-2, 5-1-2). The Eagles move on at the Upper Peninsula of Michigan on Sunday (Oct. 23) at 1 p.m. against Northern Michigan (3-9-2, 2-4-2).
ONE TO WATCH: Junior defender Bridget McEldowney scored her first goal of 2016, and the third of her career, in Ashland's 2-1 double-overtime home loss to Northwood on Sunday (Oct. 16).
MEN'S SOCCER – The Eagles (4-9-1, 2-9-1), coming off another three-games-in-five-days stretch, will play just one game in the coming week – Sunday at 1 p.m. at Ohio Dominican (5-9, 5-7).
ONE TO WATCH: Freshman midfielder C.J. Maynard is tied for second on the team in goals (two) and is second on the team in points (five).
MEN'S GOLF – Ashland will play the second and final round of the Motor City Invitational on Monday (Oct. 17) in Detroit, Mich. The Eagles were eighth in the 15-team field after round No. 1.
ONE TO WATCH: Freshman Patrick Steffen paced AU in the first round in Detroit with a 77.
WOMEN'S TENNIS – The Eagles (0-10, 0-10) will finish the fall season on Saturday at 10 a.m. at Walsh (3-8, 1-8).
ONE TO WATCH: Senior Meghann Fitzpatrick played two close first-singles sets on Sunday at Grand Valley State, losing 7-5, 6-3.
SWIMMING/DIVING – Ashland's men and women will return to the pool for a GLIAC home dual at Messerly Natatorium on Saturday at 1 p.m. against Findlay.
ONE TO WATCH: Freshman Charlie Sutton was part of the third-place 200-yard medley relay team, and finished third in the 100 butterfly and 100 freestyle, at the opening home quad meet on Sept. 30-Oct. 1.
WRESTLING – Ashland will prep for its 2016-17 season with the annual Alumni Dual on Saturday at 2 p.m., and will do so with a twist – it will be contested outdoors at Jack Miller Stadium/Martinelli Field.
ONE TO WATCH: Redshirt senior Michael Labry is back on mat, sporting a career record of 112-11 with nationals finishes of fourth, third and second place at 133 pounds.