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Mid-American Bandwagon podcast, ep. 41: Spring Sports Smorgasboard!

Spring sports are in full swing! Women’s soccer and swimming and diving both have their championships this weekend, while the race to the top of the conference baseball and softball continue to heat up!

Illustration: James H. Jimenez; photos courtesy of Wikipedia Commons, James H. Jimenez, Kenneth Bailey

Football and basketball fans, have no fear. Spring sports are here! With a full slate of competition across a number of sports over the past week, there is a lot to get to on episode 41 of the Bandwagon. It’s been a busy week in the MAC universe!

To open up this weeks pod, Zach and Sam break down the various headlines of the week from around the conference. The end of the women’s soccer season has been marred by a bit of controversy, as Buffalo will not be afforded the opportunity for the MAC championship after losing the Eastern Division crown to Bowling Green. The Falcons edged out the Bulls based on win percentage, even though Buffalo bested BG in their only meeting of the season. As it stands, Bowling Green will take on Ball State on Saturday night with the MAC championship on the line. Best of luck to both squads.

Elsewhere in the news this week, Stan Heath was named head men’s basketball coach at Eastern Michigan. It was a move that has inspired hope in the Eagles fan base, as many hope EMU can return to their glory years of the 1990’s. Also in hoops, MAC player of the year Marreon Jackson announced his commitment to Toledo, while CeCe Hooks and Gabby Burris both announced they would be returning to the Ohio women’s program next year. This is huge news for the Bobcats, as they will certainly boast one of the most experienced line up’s in the conference next year. Speaking of transfers, the conference also announced a change to their intra-conference transfer policy, allowing all athletes to transfer between MAC schools without sitting out a year.

To lead of this weeks’ spring sports wrap up, the boys highlight Bowling Greens hard fought loss in the first round of the NCAA Women’s Volleyball tournament. The Falcons took on Weber State in Omaha, and ultimately ended up falling to the Wildcats 3 sets to 1. It was a disappointing end to a magical season for BG, as they won the MAC and made their first NCAA tournament appearance since 2012.

On the baseball diamond, Ball State seems to be rounding into form, as the Cardinals are currently riding an 8 game win streak. Included in that streak is the Cardinals four game sweep of Akron this past weekend. Ball State currently sits atop the standings at 10-2 in MAC play, with Central Michigan, Miami, and Western Michigan hot on their heels.

In softball, Ball State and Miami seem to be separating from the pack, as both currently own undefeated records in the conference. The highlight of this past weekends’ action was Miami pitcher Courtney Vierstra. The senior turned in a no-hitter on Friday, only to follow that up with a perfect game on Sunday, leading the RedHawks to a weekend sweep of Akron.

In men’s soccer, it’s a tight race coming into the final weekend of the season. Bowling Green, Western Michigan, West Virginia, and Akron all have a chance to capture the regular season title heading into the final games of the season. This weekends’ Akron/Western Michigan game will be huge!

The aforementioned MAC Swimming and Diving Championships will take place this weekend in Ypsilanti, as Akron looks to continue their dominance over the conference and capture their eighth straight crown. Ball State and Buffalo come in with hopes of knocking the Zips off their pedestal atop the conference.

What a week in the MAC! As always, we appreciate each and every one of you for stopping by and listening. Be sure to subscribe on your favorite podcast platform, and follow us on Twitter @MAC_Bandwagon. Have a great weekend folks!