Sports preview 9-15-16

By Jake Allen, Sports Editor

Football: The Akron football team returns to the gridiron on Saturday, as they travel to Huntington, West Virginia to play the Marshall Thundering Herd at 12 p.m.

Marshall comes in with a 1-0 record after they dominated Morgan State 62-0 last Saturday. The teams last met in 2014, where Marshall won 48-17 in Akron.

Marshall’s sophomore quarterback Chase Litton is the player to watch after he threw over 300 yards with six touchdowns and zero interceptions versus Morgan State.

Akron running back Warren Ball could possibly miss the game after leaving early in the second half of the Wisconsin game. Ball leads the Zips in rushing with 181 yards on just 25 carries. Expect sophomore Van Edwards to get the majority of the carries if Ball can’t play.

This is the third non-conference game for Akron, with one more (Appalachian State at Infocision Stadium on September 24) before conference play kicks off on October 1 with a rivalry game against Kent State.

Men’s Soccer: Coming off back-to-back 2-0 home victories, the men’s soccer team will travel to Tulsa, Oklahoma, to play the University of Tulsa Golden Hurricanes on Friday at 8 p.m. The team will then head south for a match against Southern Methodist University in Dallas on Monday at 9 p.m.

The Zips currently hold a 4-2 record, but have yet to win a road game. Freshman Skye Harter and senior Adam Najem are tied for the team lead with two goals apiece, while junior forward Stuart Holthusen (New Zealand) has yet to play in a game due to injury.

Women’s Soccer: The women’s soccer team will try to rebound from its 3-0 loss to UC Riverside on Sunday when it travels to Pittsburgh to play Duquesne on Friday at 7 p.m.

The Dukes enter the tilt at 2-2-2 after taking a trip to southeastern Ohio earlier in the week, in which they beat Xavier 2-0 and tied Cincinnati 1-1.

Expect second-year starter Annabelle Hegeman to start at goalkeeper once again, as the senior has figured into every decision this season (3-4 record).

The Zips women will get a week off following the game against Duquesne before they open Mid-American Conference play next Friday at Miami.

Women’s Volleyball: The volleyball team will have yet another busy weekend in the West Virginia Invitational in Morgantown, West Virginia. On Friday, the Zips will play Dartmouth at 4:30 p.m., then they will stay in Morgantown on Saturday for a 12:30 p.m. match against West Virginia and finish up at 4:30 p.m. with a match against Winthrop.

So far the team is just 3-6 on the season, and are coming off back-to-back losses at the Akron Invitational to Eastern Kentucky and Youngstown State this past Saturday.

Women’s Tennis: The women’s tennis team opens up its season this weekend at Cincinnati for the Greater Cincinnati Collegiate Invitational.

The matches begin at 9 a.m. on Friday and Saturday.

The team returns Ariadna Blinova (Riga, Latvia), who led Akron last year in singles play with a record of 6-4. New to the team is freshman Ana Rita Pedroso, from Porto, Portugal. Eight different countries (Latvia, Columbia, Mexico, Germany, Belarus, London, Portugal, and USA) are represented by the nine women on the team. Brandon Padgett will coach the Zips’ tennis team for the seventh straight season.