Manchester University's 2015-16 season begins Friday and Saturday, Nov. 20 and 21, with the annual Main View Tipoff Classic.
Tournament Details: The Spartans welcome Berea College of Kentucky, Carroll University of Wisconsin and the University of Wisconsin – Whitewater for the weekend … Game times are 5 and 7 p.m. Friday and 1 and 3 p.m. Saturday at Stauffer-Wolfe Arena. Berea takes on UW-Whitewater in Friday's opener followed by the Black and Gold facing Carroll at 7 p.m., and Saturday's schedule sees Berea and Carroll playing at 1 p.m., and MU and UW-Whitewater meeting up at 3 p.m. A brief awards ceremony follows the final contest … Live audio, stats and video for all four games can be viewed via links at www.muspartans.com, the Internet home of Manchester University athletics … The Spartans' yearly opening tourney has seen some of the nation's top NCAA Division III programs come to Stauffer-Wolfe Arena. A year ago, the traditionally-strong Capital University of Ohio squad was part of the field along with Benedictine University of Illinois and the University of Chicago. The two previous years saw perennial D3Hoops.com top 20 members Carthage College of Wisconsin and Ohio Northern University join the Black and Gold and Kalamazoo College (2013) and perennial Collegiate Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin top-finishing program Illinois Wesleyan, Ohio Athletic Conference yearly championship competitor University of Mount Union and fellow OAC member Muskingum College as part of the tournament with the hosts (2012). The 2015 field is no different. University of Wisconsin-Whitewater's Warhawks are coming off NCAA Division III national tournament semifinal appearances in 2013 and 2014; Carroll University's Pioneers have earned a spot in the Midwest Conference postseason tourney nine times since 2000; Berea College's Mountaineers battled their way into the championship game at the 2015 United States Collegiate Athletic Association national tournament; and the host MU Spartans have made themselves a household name in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference's postseason tournament and have been in the NCAA Division III national tournament three times since 2005-06.
Spartan Shorts: Manchester University has enjoyed its recent appearances in the Main View tournament, reaching the finals in 2014 and 2013 with a championship included a year ago … Coach Josh Dzurick's 2015-16 crew returns the senior guard trio of Katie Arterburn (Indianapolis, Ind.), Justine Kruger (Francisville, Ind.), and Kelcey Daugherty (Greenwood, Ind.). Arterburn, a two-time all-conference honoree who earned second team accolades last year and honorable mention and freshmen team recognition in 2012-13, ranks third on the program's career made three-point field goal list (143) and was among the top 40 in NCAA Division III in three-point field goal accuracy during her junior campaign as part of a three-year resume in which she's averaging better than nine points a game in 78 appearances. "Katie is back and full go," Dzurick said. "I've got to credit the work she and our athletic training staff did during the offseason. (She was) coming off a tough injury during the conference tournament last year and looks great." Kruger has been on the Stan C. Weller floor honoring Coaches Wolfe and Hoffman court during 69 games over her three seasons with averages of better than six points and just under 3.5 rebounds per contest. The senior is also one of the program's top free throw shooters, percentage-wise, in her career hitting nearly 75 percent. "Justine makes our defense go and, most important, has turned herself into a major offensive threat which we'll need to rely on more this season," Dzurick said. Daugherty, the 2015-16 team captain, has seen her role increase each season. "Kelcey has a lot of talent," MU's head coach commented. "It's time for her to step up and showcase that talent in a more expanded role. We've got high expectations for her, lofty ones to be honest. Nonetheless, we know she'll exhaust herself to reach them." The Black and Gold also have experienced returners in junior guard Jenifer Lee (Rockville, Ind.) and sophomore forwards Victoria Christlieb (Culver, Ind.) and Samantha Bolen (Greenwood, Ind.). They each played in 20-or-more games a year ago. "Their time has come too, and we expect all three to increase production on game day," Dzurick noted ... In looking at the start of the 2015-16 campaign, the Spartans' head coach has been pleased with what he's seen. "They've been working hard throughout the preseason period," he said. "We have high expectations this year, as in any other, and have been pushing them pretty hard, and the response has been impressive. There are some new faces trying to learn the system, and it's good to see the returners leading them. The learning curve from being a high school to college player development-wise is a big one, so that type of leadership is important. We look forward to this team developing their own identity while building upon what the program has been about over the past 10 seasons." … The Spartans earned 49 points on the annual Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference's coaches' ranking, released earlier this month, tying Defiance College of Ohio for the sixth spot. Arterburn, the program's top returning scorer from 2014-15, was mentioned on the Players to Watch section.
Home Stand Resumes: The Black and Gold wrap up three in a row at home to open the year when Michigan Intgercollegiate Athletic Association member Calvin College visits North Manchester for a 6 p.m. tipoff as part of a doubleheader the men's teams Tuesday, Nov. 24.