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Ashland University women's basketball team No. 1 in country; only undefeated DII team remaining

Ashland WBB team
Posted at 12:29 PM, Feb 09, 2023

ASHLAND, Ohio — The Ashland University women's basketball team has some new faces on the roster, but their instant chemistry has led them on a hot streak and to the top of the Division II.

Practicing ahead of their game against Ursuline College, the Eagles were poised— having fun on the courts as they pushed each other all session long. First year players and transfers have reshaped Ashland's roster, but in a way that has worked well.

"We have some transfers and some newbies here this summer and we were wondering how we were going to mesh together but we’ve done a great job of that so far. Our team chemistry is amazing and I just love playing with these girls," said point guard Morgan Yoder.

Yoder is from Dundee, a small town in Amish Country that's not too different from the hometown vibes Ashland gives her. Being able to play the sport she loves for the Eagles is a dream come true.

"Growing up in a place that’s similar to this, small hometown, the community supports women’s basketball like crazy which is super awesome," she said.

Similarly, forward Annie Roshak can't recall a time she's ever enjoyed herself so much on the hardwood.

"I don’t know if I’ve ever had so much fun with a group of people playing basketball," Roshak said. "Ashland has always been on the radar so to be a part of a team that’s really right there, it’s been special."

The way the Eagles have been able to connect has been able to bring the best out of players. A strong rotation with numerous starters gives everyone a chance to shine, keeps the women well-rested and keep opponents on their toes. The dynamic Ashland has created paves the way for players like Savaya Brockington to achieve milestone accomplishments.

Brockington recently notched 1,000 career points, a feat celebrated by her family in the crowd—and her family on the court.

"I honestly couldn't have done it without the coaches and teammates and Ashland community in general. Seeing that basket go through to get my 1,000th point was something I just never felt before. It was just super cool and seeing everybody, just the love and support everybody showed during that game and after, was super cool. And that's a true testament to Ashland's community and our fans here," Brockington said.

But while the individual accolades are something the Eagles are thrilled to be collecting, the way they've connected this season has led to team success as well.

So much success, they've gone undefeated so far this season.

"This team has been incredibly selfless and bought into what we've been pursuing and that's why we're 23-0... because we have girls who are talented on the court, no doubt about it, but willing to put what's best for the team first and foremost," said head coach Kari Pickens.

Pickens has guided the Eagles to a Sweet 16 appearance, three conference tournament titles and two conference regular-season championships. This season, the goals remain the same.

"Our team's mission statement is that we are on a relentless pursuit to be the best Division II women's basketball team in the country and make a positive impact on all who cross our path. So if we're doing those two things relentlessly every day, then I'm going to be really pleased no matter what our record is," Pickens said.

A pursuit that so far has been obtained, with the Eagles now ranked No. 1 in the DII women's standings—deemed, to this point, the best Division II women's basketball team in the country.

The Eagles' 23-0 record, looking to be extended in their final five regular season games of the season, with the next test against Ursuline Thursday evening.

Remaining undefeated is certainly top of mind—but more importantly, staying dominant at make a post-season run to make the season and the chemistry they've found with each other, all worth it.

"Hoping to just take care of business there and hopefully host a G-MAC tournament, obviously hopefully win that out and head on to regionals and the rest of that to hopefully bring home a national championship," Roshak said.

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