Eagles gear up for first-ever meeting with Glenville State in Final Four

The Eagles, sitting at an overall record of 35-0, look to protect undefeated season


Brynn Meisse

Eagle forward Annie Roshak prepares at the free throw line for two shots against UT Tyler in the Elite Eight.

Ethan Jenkins, Reporter

On Monday, March 20 the Ashland University Women’s basketball team advanced to the Final Four winning 81-72 against UT Tyler.

The Eagles are now set to face the Glenville State Pioneers, the reigning national champions. This is the first meeting between the two squads ever, with two top programs in Division II going against each other.

The 34-0 undefeated season will be on the line for the Eagles, against the Pioneers who sit at a record of 33-2 coming into Wednesday’s contest.

Glenville State, after going the distance a season ago, had all 5 starters leave the program, and Head Coach Kim Stephens has had to use a strategy you don’t see very often in basketball to continue the success of the program.

The Pioneers play ten players every game, within two groups of five. There are no individual substitutions for the team, as the two groups of five stay together almost all of the time.

Glenville State also loves to utilize the full-court trap defensive strategy to slow down opponent offenses.

“Glenville State is going to press us from start to finish, taking care of the ball is going to be huge against them,” said Head Coach Kari Pickens.

The Pioneers are currently forcing 27 turnovers per game by opponents on the season and will look to cause a lot of turnovers against the Eagles who are averaging just under 14 turnovers per contest.

For comparison, the University of Tampa Spartans average 0.3 fewer turnovers per game than the Eagles this season. Still, in their Elite Eight matchup with the Pioneers, they coughed up the basketball 26 times.

“Glenville State just makes you play very fast, we have to be ready for that,” said Pickens.

Ball handling is going to be a key element to break the trap of the Pioneers, and right now it is still unknown whether Eagles starting point guard Morgan Yoder will be able to play on Wednesday night. 

If the Eagles can’t rely on their starting point guard, they will potentially go to Annie Roshak once again, who against UT Tyler, scored 24 points alongside 10 rebounds.

The No. 1 seeded Eagles are set to take on the No. 5 seed Pioneers in a Final Four matchup on Wednesday, March 22, with tipoff set for 9:30 p.m. EST and 8:30 local time in St. Joseph, Missouri.

Watch, Listen AND Follow

Watch: Game on CBS Sports Network

Listen: wrdlfm.com (pregame starts at 9:15 EST)

Follow: https://ashland-collegian.com