ASHLAND, Ohio (WOIO) - The University of Ashland Women’s team is no stranger to championship expectations. Winners of the National Championship in 2013 and 2017, they were also made a bid in the 2018 title game but were upset by Central Missouri. They finished undefeated in 2017 and entered the title game in 2018 unbeaten. Two years later they are again in pursuit of glory, again with an undefeated record, 31-0.
They have a 31-game winning streak and enter the tournament as the number two team in the country. “We have really good players,” said head coach Kari Pickens. “They want to play with other good players. A lot of these players maybe could go to different programs and maybe have a little bit better numbers, maybe play a few more minutes, but they want to play with other great players.”
Undefeated National Champions in 2017, they took a 73 game winning streak into the 2018 National Championship game before being upset by Central Missouri. Last year they exited in the first round of the tournament. The players have not forgotten it. “We did not like how that ended,” said senior guard Jodi Johnson. “That obviously was not our goal going into it.”
If the team can pull off another National Championship, the seniors on this team will have bookended their college career with titles, winning it in their first year and their last year. “It would be awesome,” said senior forward Sara Loomis. “This senior class, we’ve grown a lot, on the court and off the court. We are really excited to see what we have in store."
They open the Division II tournament on Friday in Springfield, Missouri. The Eagles play Southern Indiana, a team they beat 95-55 earlier in the season.