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Friday, October 1, 2010

Crossover Season is Officially Upon Us

Today the Calendar turns to Oct. 1.  Not usually a major moment over the course of the year, but for the next six to eight weeks this is what is known as "Crossover Season" in the business.

The Maverick football, cross country, golf, volleyball and soccer teams are all in full force right now and the men's and women's hockey teams will open up their season next week.  Not too far down the line is the opening of the men's and women's swimming and diving season as well as Midnight Madness, signifying the beginning of the 2010-11 men's and women's basketball season.

This is one of my most favorite times of the year. Sure we stay busy but the campus and the website is buzzing with news on all of our programs. 

Yesterday (Thursday) the Maverick soccer squad earned a 9-0 win over Southwest Minnesota State.  It was a beautiful day on the Pitch and a great win by the Mavericks.  The win pushed MSU's record to 4-4-1 on the season heading into a nonconference trip this weekend to former North Central Conference and current NCAA Division I opponent North Dakota.

On the way out to soccer I took an opportunity to snap a photo of the Maverick volleyball team practicing in the Taylor Center.  Minnesota State - which is ranked #13 in the nation - hosts Minnesota, Crookston (10/1,  7 p.m.) and Minnesota State Moorhead (10/2, 4 p.m.) this weekend to open a four-game homestand.  Check out this video with Dennis Amundson as he discusses this weekend's matches.  The video can be viewed HERE

Here's a fun little tidbit for you:  There are currently five teams from the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference ranked in the top-13 in the nation, including the top-three teams (Minnesota Duluth #1, Wayne State #2 and Southwest Minnesota State #3).  Three-time defending national champion Concordia University is ranked #6.  As Anna Schultz once said, "It goes without saying that the NSIC is arguably the best volleyball league in the nation."

Leaving soccer I noticed the Maverick softball team - fresh off its fourth consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance - holding one of its fall workouts.  Kind of weird to see softball in the fall but the photo snapped shows just how beautiful of a day it was in the Key City. 

The Maverick football team takes to the road this weekend as it travels to Winona State to take on the Warriors at 6 p.m., Saturday evening.  The game will have an interesting twist as Minnesota State junior linebacker Ross Jirgl will face his brother - Winona State senior linebacker - Ryan Jirgl.  Ross took a few moments to discuss playing against his brother and you can find that interview HERE.

Next weekend is Homecoming here at Minnesota State which is always exciting.  It will be even more exciting with St. Cloud State coming to town for the game.  Of course when these two teams get together they play for one of the best traveling trophies in all of sports - The Traveling Training Kit.  And it's not just my opinion on the awesomeness of the TTK, check out THIS story by ESPN a few years ago on the top-10 traveling trophies.  In addition to the Homecoming festivities, the Mavericks will also induct four former student-athletes (Gene Bygd - Track and Field '72, Patt Dunn - multi-sports '52, Josh Nelsen - football '04 and Heidi Schnagl Ulwelling - Volleyball '95) as well as former administrator Jim Schaffer and swimming and diving coach Phil Rhoade.  Additionally the 1979 and 1980 baseball squads will be inducted.  To view the release on this year's HOF class, click HERE.

Finally, the Minnesota Timberwolves just wrapped up training camp here in Mankato.  The camp - which lasted just five days - allowed new Timberwolf Michael Beasley and new Maverick Andre Gilbert the opportunity to reconnect.  Both played at Kansas State.  Chad Courrier of the Mankato Free Press discussed the two's relationship HERE.

That's a lot to digest, but there you have it.  Remember, it is GREAT to be a Maverick.

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