Hello to the avid Purple Aces readership! I’m Colleen Thomas, your new UE beat writer for the Courier & Press, and I’m very excited to get started covering the Purple Aces.
As you know, Jonathan left the beat back in June, so it’s my task to continue what Jonathan started — comprehensive coverage of the Purple Aces that included this blog, a Twitter account and much more. You can expect many updates here on the blog and on Twitter (I just changed the old handle to @ECP_Thomas), and I hope to get on Instagram, Storify, and live blog the games as soon as the season starts!
And quickly, a bit about me: I’m a recent graduate of the University of Michigan, where I covered a variety of sports teams, including the basketball team’s spectacular run to the National Championship game last year. I’m originally from Carmel, so I’m happy to be returning to my home state.
Now here’s what you really want to read:
–Though the women’s soccer team wrapped up its exhibition slate on Sunday with a 2-1 loss to Wright State, the squad is expected have another good showing in the Missouri Valley this season. The conference preseason poll was released a week ago, with the Aces tabbed to finish third.
–The women’s basketball team announced a new addition to its staff on Tuesday. Former Notre Dame standout Ashley Barlow will be the new assistant coach for the Lady Aces this upcoming season. Barlow was an assistant at IUPUI the past two years.
–Both the men’s and women’s cross country teams slated to finish last in the MVC, according to the Aug. 19 preseason poll. Junior Josh Genet, who finished 12th at the conference championship, leads the men’s returners while four seniors — including fourth-place MVC Championship finisher Kelby Jenkins — will headline the women’s team.
–In preparation for its regular-season home stand, the men’s soccer team is having a “purple-out” night for its exhibition game against UIndy. The team is using the hashtag #AllPurpleEverything to spread the word.
–Here’s a link to my men’s soccer notebook from today’s paper. In it, I discuss where the freshmen will fit in and who will assume leadership roles on the field.
–In another conference preseason poll, the volleyball team is selected to finish seventh in the conference this year under first-year head coach. Coming off its Sweet 16 bid, Wichita State is the sound favorite to win the MVC.
–UE Athletics has started a blog in addition to its regular website and social media outlets.
–From around the MVC: Northern Iowa women’s basketball player Jacqueline Kalin was chosen as a top-30 honoree for NCAA Woman of the Year award.