Otterbein Athletics to Return Following 10-Month Absence
Posted Jan 22, 2021
Following more than 10 months of uncertainty and time away from competition due to the ongoing CoVID-19 pandemic, Otterbein Athletics will finally be returning to varsity competition this weekend!
Both basketball teams, both track and field teams, and the wrestling program have been practicing on campus and are now being tested regularly in compliance with the NCAA guidelines. All contests will be held within the Ohio Athletic Conference (OAC), meaning Otterbein is only competing against the other nine institutions across the league.
“After many long months of lockdown and being away from each other, it feels amazing to finally have the team back together and playing again,” said women’s basketball senior Bryn Mangold. “This season has already been a wild ride due to COVID-19 restrictions, but I am thankful to have a season and play as many games as possible.”
The first teams to start are competing in some unique formats.
Basketball will play a home-and-home weekend series against six opponents, with games held Friday and Saturday evenings against the same school to help lower the number of required COVID-19 tests and reduce potential outbreaks.
Track and Field meets will be split in half across the league, as five schools will compete at one site and the other five schools at a second site. Otterbein is scheduled to host a pair of early season showcases before welcoming all teams to campus for the OAC Indoor Championships spanning March 5-6.
Wrestling is slated to compete in dual matches each Sunday at various sites across the league. This will lead into NCAA Regionals in Michigan and (hopefully) the NCAA Championships in Wisconsin.
OAC Presidents have decided that no fans will be allowed to attend events until at least March 1, when the rule will be revisited. However, Otterbein and the other OAC schools will be providing live video and live game-tracker stats for as many home contests as possible.
“Getting back to competing my final season as a Cardinal has been an up and down battle due to injuries and Covid-19,” said men’s basketball senior guard Kobe Long-Weber. “I’m looking forward to getting back on the court and competing, hopefully leaving our basketball program stronger after all the pandemic adversity.”
Fans can access the OAC TV Network by clicking here.
This weekend‘s match-ups:
Women’s Basketball will launch its resurrection Friday, Jan. 22, at Marietta and then turn around to host the Pioneers on Saturday, Jan. 23, in the Rike Center.
Wrestling will head to Baldwin Wallace Sunday, Jan. 24, for a pair of duals.
Track and Field hosts four other teams in the Clements Recreation Center on Sunday, Jan. 24.
Unfortunately, opening weekend for Men’s Basketball has been cancelled due to COVID-19 protocols. They are now scheduled to open Jan. 29-30 vs. Ohio Northern.
Stay tuned to otterbeincardinals.com and all the social media outlets (@otterbeinsports) for updated schedules and continued coverage during this very fluid time.