MARQUETTE, Mich. -- Women's Basketball for Northern Michigan University opens their regular season this weekend as they take part in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference/Great Lakes Valley Conference Challenge.
The Wildcats visit University of Indianapolis Friday night, and the game can be followed with video and live stats. On Sunday, NMU travels to Lewis University, which can be followed with video, live stats and audio.
Follow @NMU_Wildcats on Twitter for continued updates.
Youngstrom earns preseason honor: Junior Darby Youngstrom (Cook, Minn./North Woods) was selected to the Preseason All-GLIAC Team. Last season, Youngstrom earned All-GLIAC Second Team and All-GLIAC Defensive Team. She led the Wildcats with 12.5 points a game, 6.6 rebounds a game, and shot 50% from the field.
Becoming the leaders: In addition to Youngstrom, juniors Chloe Tompkins (Dousman, Wisc./Kettle Moraine), Emily Schramek (Naperville, Ill./Benet Academy), Taylor Hodell (Wausau, Wisc./DC Everest), Sydney Dillinger (Houghton, Mich.), and Tess Weatherly (Howell, Mich.) all return and look to move into a leadership role as the team elders this season.
A year of experience: Sophomores Baleigh Delorit (Algoma, Wisc.), Bailey Denis (De Pere Wisc./West De Pere), Emma Benoit (Gilberts, Ill./Hampshire), Erin Honkala (Howell, Mich.), Jessica Schultz (Mineral Point, Wisc.), and redshirt freshmen Terese Ledy (Marquette, Mich.) and Danielle Hartjes (Kaukauna, Wisc.) return for their second season after gaining experience during their rookie campaign.
New Faces: NMU welcomes Elizabeth Lutz (Marshall, Wisc.), Amber Huebner (Marquette, Mich.), Lexi Smith (St. Germain, Wisc./Northland Pines) and Allissa Willa (Wilson, Mich./North Central) to the squad and each aims to make an impact during their first season of collegiate basketball.
GLIAC Prediction: The 2017-18 Wildcats are predicted to finish third in the North Division of the GLIAC. NMU trails Michigan Technological University, 58 points, and Grand Valley State University, 57 points, but tied both schools with four first-place votes.
Looking to improve: After winning 17 games last season, the Wildcats return 13 of 14 players from last year's team. This year, the team will look to improve on their nearly 60 points a game average.
In the middle: Hodell and Schultz seek more production inside after averaging nearly 16 points between the two of them.
Hitting from downtown: Weatherly led NMU from the three-point line, hitting 40.5% of her threes. She will continue to lead the team as Dillinger, Benoit, Schramek, Youngstrom, Tompkins and Delorit seek improved shooting from long-range.
NMU versus Indianapolis: The Wildcats hold a 2-1 advantage over Indianapolis, winning the first two contests in the NCAA Great Lakes Regional. Their last matchup came during the 2011-12 season, where Indianapolis pulled out a 68-55 victory. In 2016-17, the Greyhounds went 16-13 and fell to Lewis in the GLVC Conference Tournament.
NMU versus Lewis: Sunday's matchup at Lewis will be the first contest between the two schools. The Flyers finished last season 23-9 and finished second in the GLVC. Their 2016-17 season ended with a first round defeat to Saginaw Valley State University in the NCAA Midwest Regional.