With three winter programs in action in the 2017 NCAA Division II postseason, and four spring teams continuing their spring break trips, Ashland University athletics is headed for one big, busy week.
The Eagle wrestling and men's and women's indoor track and field teams will head to Birmingham, Ala., for their respective Division II nationals, and the No. 1-ranked Ashland women's basketball team will play host to the D-II Midwest Regional at Kates Gymnasium.
WOMEN'S BASKETBALL (LINK) – The Eagles (31-0) will begin Midwest Regional action on Friday (March 10) vs. Malone (23-6) in a quarterfinal at "The Kates." That will be one of four quarterfinals in Ashland on Friday, followed by two semifinals on Saturday (March 11) and the regional championship game on Monday, March 13.
Ashland, the only undefeated women's or men's basketball team in Division II, is hosting the Midwest Regional for the fourth time in six seasons.
ONE TO WATCH: Junior forward Andi Daugherty is averaging 20.0 points and 7.0 rebounds, and shooting 60.8 percent (45-for-74) from the field, 50.0 percent (9-for-18) from 3-point range and 95.5 percent (21-for-22) from the free-throw line in the last six games.
INDOOR TRACK AND FIELD (LINK) – The No. 1-ranked men and the No. 15-ranked women will take a total of 19 individuals in both individual events and relays to NCAA indoor nationals, Thursday (March 9) through Saturday in Birmingham:
MEN: Bryn Campbell, senior - weight throw; Jordan Crayon, senior - weight throw; Nick Hall, senior - mile run; Alex Hill, freshman - weight throw; Myles Pringle, sophomore - 200 dash, 400 dash and high jump; Daniel Roberts, junior - shot put and weight throw; Elijah Talk, junior - shot put; Jason Zahn, senior - shot put; Nick Zak, freshman - weight throw; 4x400 relay - senior Columbus Millet, sophomore Devin Snowden, freshman Paul Murray and Pringle; Distance medley relay - junior Hunter Heaton, Murray, sophomore Tyler Sievert and Hall.
WOMEN: Samantha Duale, sophomore - 60 dash; Natalie Helenthal, sophomore - weight throw; Amber Otermat, freshman - pole vault; Megan Tomei, senior - shot put and weight throw; Paula Wollenslegel, freshman - high jump
Ashland's men and women will bring 11 top-five efforts in the country into nationals, including boasting four of the top five men's weight throwers in D-II.
ONE TO WATCH: Senior Megan Tomei has the second-best women's shot put (15.91 meters/52-feet-2½) and fourth-best women's weight throw (20.21 meters/66-feet-3¾) in Division II this season.
WRESTLING (LINK) – Seven members of the No. 7-ranked Ashland wrestling team will travel to Alabama for nationals on Friday and Saturday. Senior Michael Labry (133 pounds), sophomore Chandler Minnard (141), senior Brent Fickel (149), freshman Bret Romanzak (165), junior Jordan Murphy (184) and junior Luke Cramer (197) all will seek top finishes individually and for the team as a whole.
The first two sessions of nationals will be Friday, with the final two coming on Saturday.
ONE TO WATCH: Labry has earned three previous All-American honors, finishing second, third and fourth at nationals.
BASEBALL (LINK) – The Eagles (3-4) will complete their annual Florida trip with seven straight days of games – Monday (March 6) vs. Mary, Tuesday (March 7) vs. Minnesota Duluth, Wednesday (March 8) vs. West Virginia Wesleyan, Thursday vs. St. Josephs, Ind., Friday vs. Judson, Saturday vs. West Chester and Sunday (March 12) vs. Northwood.
ONE TO WATCH: Sophomore right-handed pitcher Sam Rice is 2-0 out of the bullpen early in 2017.
SOFTBALL (LINK) – Ashland (2-5) keeps going in its Florida games with five days of doubleheaders – Monday vs. St. Joseph's and Rockhurst, Tuesday vs. Saint Leo and Mercyhurst, Thursday vs. Cedarville and Trevecca Nazarene, Friday vs. Truman and Caldwell and Saturday vs. Assumption and Sioux Falls.
ONE TO WATCH: Senior outfielder Ally Farrah is hitting .538 with four stolen bases through the first seven games of the season.
WOMEN'S GOLF (LINK) – The Eagles will conclude play at the Las Vegas Desert Classic on Monday. Ashland finished the first round on Sunday (March 5) with a team score of 334, good for a tie for seventh place in the 14-team field.
ONE TO WATCH: Senior Kaitlin Neumann fired a first-round 80 to tie for 11th place individually on Sunday.
WOMEN'S TENNIS (LINK) – Ashland (0-14) will continue its spring trip in South Carolina with matches on Monday vs. Catawba, Thursday against Coastal Carolina and Chowan and Friday vs. Palm Beach Atlantic.
ONE TO WATCH: Sophomore Natalie Keron earned a singles victory, 6-2, 6-1, against Davis & Elkins on Sunday.