Winter sports predictions

John Kipper, Staff Writer

The early snow was an unwelcomed reminder that the weather is only going to get colder, but it also means that winter sports are on the way. Here’s a preview of the teams and how they look as the season approaches.

   Women’s Basketball (12-12 overall, 8-10 in the MIAC): This year’s team is more experienced than last year, bringing back four starters and the majority of their depth players. There’s also a large pool of young talent with seven first-years on the roster. Expect they compete for a berth in the MIAC playoffs.

  Men’s Basketball (21-8, 13-7): Won the MIAC conference before ending with a heart-breaking 93-91 loss in the opening round of the NCAA playoffs. The team graduated four seniors, including all-American Collin Olmscheid. However, most of the upper and lower classmen have game experience, so another deep postseason isn’t out of the question.

   Men’s Hockey (19-10, 10-6): Coming off their third-straight conference championship, the men’s hockey team will look very different this year because a third of the roster graduated last year. This year’s squad is much younger with only ten upperclassmen. It’s too early to tell, but a four-peat might be on the horizon.

   Women’s Hockey (14-7-5, 9-4-5): Ended last year with a tough loss in the playoffs to Hamline. The team graduated three seniors and there’s a venerable veteran core returning. If I had to bet money, I think the team wins the MIAC.

   Swim & Dive: Lindsay Mikkelson was recently named the interim head coach of the team, and she is taking over an extremely young squad. Seven of the 11 listed roster members are first years with the returners being three juniors and a sophomore.

   Wrestling (13-2): 12-time national champions, last year they had two individual champions (Lucas Jeskey and Ryan Epps). Only four seniors graduated, and the team is deep and dangerous. Mark your calendars for Jan. 31 as the Auggies host Wartburg, who have won the past four national titles.

This article was originally published in the Oct. 19, 2018 issue.