ASHLAND, Ohio — The Ashland University Eagles women's basketball team is playing elite and after a remarkable regular season and Great Midwest Athletic Conference title win, elite is an appropriate descriptor because the team is now headed to the NCAA DII Elite Eight.
All season long the women on the team have embraced three core values.
"Be a great teammate, work hard and have fun. And I think this team does that so well and that’s been a huge part of why we’ve been so successful," said forward Annie Roshak. "I think that that’s going to continue to propel us to three more victories."
With three games separating the team from a national championship, the Eagles are locked in. Having fun but focusing during practice, preparing for their trip to St. Joseph, Missouri where they face UT Tyler Saturday at 6 p.m.
"We were able to put together a regular season G-Mac championship, a G-Mac tournament championship," said head coach Kari Pickens. "We were really just pleased with how we finished out the season and we're beyond excited to be able to go on to the Elite Eight."
As they practiced in their gym for the last sessions before hitting the road, the Eagles were surrounded by the banners of past seasons showcasing the success they've had in the past and one large national championship mural that lists the two winning years—2013 and 2017—underneath.
It's a reminder for the women of the program's dominance, and perhaps at times even a motivator.
"I think seeing that and the banners back there just wanting our year to be up there, 2022-2023," said Roshak.
But while the team sees the success of the past, they're focusing on the present and the goal that exists each season.
"It's not a comparison to what other teams have or haven't done. We have our own goals that we want to pursue each year, and this is definitely something that this team wants to pursue that goal," said Pickens.
"Every year we’re trying to win a national championship and be that best team in the country," said guard Hallie Heidemann.
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