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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Ashland University

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Ashland University

The Collegian

Eagles flock north to Grand Valley State for NCAA Midwest Regional showdown

The Eagles are set to compete in their third straight NCAA tournament appearance
Ben Nichols
Eagle guard Savaya Brockington takes a mid range shot in the conference tournament against the Saints.

Seeing the Ashland University women’s basketball team in the NCAA Division II Regional Tournament has become almost common at this point.

For the third straight season, the Eagles have been ranked as a top-two team in the Midwest Region for three straight seasons now. However, unlike the previous two years, they will have to travel to compete instead of staying inside of Kates Gymnasium.

On Sunday, March 10, the NCAA released the D-II results on regional hosting, with the Eagles slotted as the No. 2 seed behind the Grand Valley State University (GVSU) Lakers at the No. 1 spot.

The Eagles, who are 30-1 on the campaign, will match up against the No. 7 ranked and 25-6 Drury Panthers in the first round of action. The Eagles and Panthers last faced one another on Nov. 23, 2023, where they fell in a tight-knit affair, 68-67.

The Panthers will most certainly have revenge on their mind, but the newly found chip on the shoulder of the Eagles may propel them to new heights.

GVSU has not hosted the Eagles since the 2020-21 campaign.

In that matchup, which occurred on Jan. 17, 2021, the Eagles fell. The final score favored the Lakers, 70-67, in a nailbiting finish.

With over four years separating the last time the Eagles traveled on the road to GVSU, the atmosphere will be a different one than what the team has experienced in years past.

In the 2021-22 campaign, the Eagles hosted the Midwest Regional Tournament before falling to the Walsh University Cavaliers in the semifinal round, 72-62. In response, the Eagles bounced back in the 2022-23 season.

After waltzing their way through the Great Midwest Athletic Conference Tournament, the Eagles easily routed the Malone Pioneers and Trevecca Nazarene Trojans in the opening rounds of the NCAA Tournament. To move on to the Elite Eight, the Eagles were matched up against the Lakers in Kates Gymnasium.

In a heavyweight fight, the Eagles came out victorious, 61-58.

They would later go on to secure an NCAA D-II National Championship in Dallas against the Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs.

Now that the 2023-24 regular season and conference tournament is behind them, the Eagles will be shifting gears to the NCAA tournament that is set to begin in the coming weeks.

They will kick off their dance on Friday, March 15, where they will take on the Panthers in the opening round of the tournament.

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