Ball State field hockey's first opponent of the 2016 season, Appalachian State, will be a Mid-American Conference rival beginning in 2017.

Located in Boone, North Carolina, Appalachian State will be an affiliate member of MAC, competing only in field hockey.

Most of the Mountaineers' other teams, including the football team famous for upsetting the University of Michigan in 2007, will remain in the Sun Belt Conference. The Sun Belt does not sponsor field hockey, however, so after the NorPac Conference folded in 2014, Appalachian State played as an independent program in 2015 and will do so again in 2016.

Ball State history vs. Appalachian State

2015 – Ball State 3, Appalachian State 2

2014 – Ball State 4, Appalachian State 1

2013 – Ball State 2, Appalachian State 0

2012 – Appalachian State 2, Ball State 0

2010 – Appalachian State 4, Ball State 3

2009 – Ball State 4, Appalachian State 1

The addition of Appalachian State will up the MAC to eight members in field hockey, including five full member schools (Ball State, Kent State, Central Michigan, Miami and Ohio) and two other affiliate members (Longwood and Missouri State).

Though Appalachian State has never been in the same conference as the Cardinals, 2016 will be the fifth consecutive season the two field hockey programs meet.

Ball State won the last three meetings, and in 2015 Appalachian State was the only Division I school the Cardinals beat in their 2-16 campaign.