MARQUETTE - The Northern Michigan University men's and women's basketball teams open up GLIAC play Thursday against Walsh at the Berry Events Center in Marquette, with Malone visiting on Saturday.
Tip off for the women on Thursday against Walsh is 5:30 p.m. with the men following at 7:30 p.m. Against Malone on Saturday, the women play at 1 p.m. with the men to follow at 3 p.m.
The Wildcats' women team is 3-1 with its lone loss coming on the road at No. 14 Concordia-St. Paul on Nov. 27. NMU opened the season with home wins over Madonna, Finlandia and No. 12 Lewis.
Junior point guard Alyssa Colla currently leads the NMU women in scoring, averaging 10.8 points per game, plus a team-high 3.5 assists per outing. Sophomore forward Nea Makela is averaging 7.2 rebounds per game to lead NMU on the boards.
The Northern men's squad is 1-3 overall with its lone win coming over the NAIA's Mt. Vernon Nazarene in the regular-season opener in downstate Albion.
The NMU men have three players averaging in double figures in scoring, led by freshman guard Marcus Hall's 15.8 points per game. Junior forward Justin Newell is averaging 13.8 and sophomore point guard Terry Nash averages 13.0 points per game.
Defensively, junior forward Chavis Mattison leds NMU on the boards, averaging 5.8 rebounds per outing. Newell is averaging 5.2.
Both the Walsh and Malone men's and women's teams open GLIAC play this week with winning records with the Walsh men at 3-0 and women at 3-1. Malone's women's team is a perfect 4-0 while the men are 2-1. Both schools are in their second season in the GLIAC, playing in the South Division.
Volleyball signs six recruits for 2014
Wildcats volleyball coach Dominic Yoder announced the signing of six recruits from last month's early signing period, giving everyone a glimpse on how he plans to replace the five graduating seniors from his 2013 squad that reached the GLIAC semifinals.
NMU inked setter Jami Hogeboom of downstate Grand Haven, outside hitter Jamie Maus of Monticello, Minn., middle hitter Kayla Chosa of Wrightstown, Wis., outside/middle hitter Madison Whitehead of Altoon, Wis., middle blocker Megan Frakes of Olatha, Kansas, and setter Meghan Seymour of Cary, Ill.
Chosa was named to the Wisconsin Volleyball Coaches Association All-State Team while Seymour was earned Illinois High School Volleyball All-Star Team honors. Hogeboom was named all-state and a AVCA Junior Phenom in 2012.
Maus holds school records in kills in a match (38), kills in a season (484) and was the first player in school history to reach over 1,000 career kills, finishing with 1,389.
"Jamie (Maus) is a talented hitter and has tremendous ball control talent with attacking, passing and serving abilities," Yoder said. "I expect Jamie (Maus) to compete immediately as a six-rotation court leader."
Swimmers compete downstate
The Wildcats' swimming and diving team is downstate this weekend for its lone meet of the month at the Calvin College Invite Thursday through Saturday in Grand Rapids.
NMU's last meet was Nov. 15-16 in Stevens Point, Wis., and the Wildcats don't compete again until Jan. 4 at the Air Force Diving Open in Colorado Springs.