6 things to look forward to in OU athletics this year

The 2015-16 athletic year is officially underway, with men’s and women’s soccer and volleyball teams beginning their seasons with exhibition and non-conference games and preseason tournaments.  

Here’s the top six things to look forward to this year as the Black and Gold attempt to match last year’s historical athletic performances.

1. NEW SIGHTS AND SOUNDS IN THE O’RENA: The black top court that was revealed in April isn’t the only new sight in the O’rena. Over the summer, new lights and a new sound system were installed. The O’rena will look brighter and music and audio will be louder and clearer, ensuring that student-athletes and fans fully enjoy the game day experience.

2. FIVE TEAMS ATTEMPT TO DEFEND HORIZON LEAGUE TITLES: Volleyball, men’s soccer, men’s and women’s swimming and diving and softball will all look to reclaim their No. 1 spot in the league.

3. MEN’S BASKETBALL HORIZON LEAGUE TOURNAMENT TO BE HELD IN DETROIT: In May, it was announced that the men’s basketball league tournament is going to be held in Detroit for the next five years. The tournament will take place at Joe Louis Arena, giving the Golden Grizzlies somewhat of a home court advantage and making it easier for fans to attend and watch as Oakland attempts to capture an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2011.

4. GRIZZ GANG: Rumor has it that the student section is planning big things for this year – things nobody is going to want to miss out on. Join Grizz Gang on GrizzOrgs or visit www.ougrizzgang.weebly.com for more information.

5. CAPTURING THE MCCAFFERTY TROPHY, METRO SERIES CUP AGAIN: Oakland received their first all-sports trophy in 40 years of athletic history after their dominant performances in all Division I sports last year. The Golden Grizzlies were also awarded the Metro Series Cup after defeating rival school Detroit 26-10 in the standings.  The Black and Gold look to capture these awards again.

6. WELCOMING THE NEWEST MEMBER OF THE HORIZON LEAGUE: Northern Kentucky University became the 10th member of the Horizon League earlier this summer. The men’s soccer team will be the first to play them on Oct. 3.