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Purple Raiders to play on Friday nights

Mount Union running back Josh Petruccelli is heading into his senior year with three straight 1,000-yard rushing seasons. The Purple Raiders are planning on playing a five-game spring season with athletes retaining their eligibility. (Photo by Ron Firth)

ALLIANCE — There will be no Mount Union football this fall, but there may be on Friday nights in the spring.

The Ohio Athletic Conference (OAC) announced on Thursday preliminary spring competition schedules for the four team sports that were postponed this fall due to COVID-19. The schedules include football, men’s soccer, women’s soccer and women’s volleyball.

Each schedule will feature conference-only competition and do not exceed the NCAA 50 percent waiver so that all student-athletes will retain one of their four seasons of eligibility.

The schedules are planned to begin on the weekend of March 12 and conclude on the weekend of April 16 with championship games in all sports.

The OAC will split into two football divisions — East and West.

Defending OAC champion Mount Union will be joined by Baldwin Wallace, John Carroll, Marietta, Mount Union and Muskingum in the East Division.

The West Division includes Capital, Heidelberg, Ohio Northern, Otterbein and Wilmington.

Each team will play the other four teams in its division (two home, two road) over a five-week period with each team receiving a bye.

The schedule begins with games on Friday, March 12. All games will have 7 p.m. kickoffs.

On Friday, April 16, the top seeds of each division will meet for the OAC championship.

The two-seeds will also play as well as the three-seeds, four-seeds and five-seeds.

The East Division hosts the games between the No. 1, No. 3 and No. 5 seeds while the West Division hosts the No. 2 and No. 4 seed games.

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Men’s and Women’s Soccer

Men’s and Women’s Soccer will take the originally scheduled Fall 2020 OAC round robin schedule and move it to the Spring of 2021 beginning Sunday, March 14.

The men and women will play the same team at opposite sites. Any Sunday contest will start at 2 p.m. while weekday matches will be at either 4 or 7 p.m. at the host’s discretion.

On Sunday, April 18, the top seed will host the second seed for the OAC Championship.

The third-seed will host the fourth-seed, etc., so that all 10 teams play 10 contests.

Women’s Volleyball

Women’s Wolleyball will take the originally scheduled Fall 2020 OAC round robin schedule and move it to the Spring of 2021, beginning Friday, March 12.

Matches will be played every Friday night and Tuesday night until the regular season ends on Friday, April 9.

Each date will feature a doubleheader match, resulting in an 18-match schedule with matches starting at 6 and 8 p.m.

After April 9, the top four teams will play in an OAC Tournament beginning Tuesday, April 13 with the two winners playing at highest remaining seed Friday, April 16 for the OAC Championship.

The two non-winners from Tuesday, April 13 meet at the higher seed to complete an 11-date season.

The six teams not making the OAC Tournament will also be afforded an 11th date of competition during the week of April 12 by scheduling closer geographic matches at institutional discretion.

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