Ashland University Women’s Basketball on Course for National Championship?

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A Brief History

On November 27, 2019, the Eagles of Ashland University, namely the Women’s basketball team, is resting after another great win the day before against a tough team from Walsh University, with the Eagles prevailing by only 8 points, their lowest winning margin of the 2019-2020 season.

Digging Deeper

We have previously discussed this fantastic collegiate sports program that won the National Championship (Division II) in the 2016-2017 season, posting a perfect record of 37-0.  The following year, the Eagles were once again poised to win it all but fell short in the Championship Game to a tough Central Missouri (Jennies) team.  Those 2 fantastic seasons were followed by the exit of their terrific coach, Robyn Fralick, who went on to a Division I post at Bowling Green.  (Incredibly, Fralick posted a 104-3 record over her first 3 years of coaching college basketball!  This fine record included a run of 73 straight wins.  Wow!)

The 2018-2019 season was a season of adjustment for the Eagles, with some turnover in players as well as the coaching staff.  The team put up surprisingly good numbers, considering, by posting a fine 29 wins against only 3 losses record, amazing after the changes from the previous year.  Unfortunately, one of those losses included a first round shocker loss against Northern Michigan at the NCAA Division II tournament.

So where does this background leave the Eagles this season?  For the 2019-2020 season the Eagles are still a superior team, so far winning all of their 5 games.  They still have Senior Guard/Forward Jodi Johnson, 5 feet 10 inches of true basketball excellence, having previously been named the GLIAC Freshman of the Year in 2016-2017 and Player of the Year 2017-2018 in Division II Women’s Basketball.  What kind of start is Johnson off to this season?  Only posting 14.4 points per game, 4.2 assists per game and 4.6 rebounds per game, while shooting a deadly 52.1% from the field and an eye popping 50% from beyond the 3 point line!

Of course, although the most celebrated player, Johnson is not the only excellent player on the team as team strength is consistent throughout the starting and back up roster.  The roster has 4 solid seniors, ably assisted by 3 freshmen, 4 sophomores and 2 juniors.  The team plays with superb teamwork and unselfishness.

Next up for the Eagles on December 5, 2019, is Lake Superior State (Lakers), a decent team with a 3-2 record so far.  We predict a win for the Eagles and another great season, but a Championship?  Who knows?  So many things can go right or wrong that claiming to see the future is not really being honest, but we think the Eagles have an excellent chance of winning it all if they peak at the right time.  What do you think?

(Note: The Ashland Eagles Women’s Volleyball team is another excellent example of the great female athletics at Ashland University.  The team has a proud record in 2019 of 24 wins against only 7 losses.  While they may not be National champions, this scrappy team has done quite well in the GLIAC, posting a 13-3 record.)

Question for students (and subscribers): Who do you believe is going to win the 2019-2020 NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship? Please let us know in the comments section below this article.

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Historical Evidence

For more information, please see…

Grundy, Pamela and Susan Shackelford. Shattering The Glass: The Remarkable History Of Women’s Basketball. The New Press, 2005.

Ignotofsky, Rachel. Women in Sports: 50 Fearless Athletes Who Played to Win. Ten Speed Press. 2017.

Lannin, Joanne. Finding a Way to Play: The Pioneering Spirit of Women in Basketball. Portlandia Press, 2015.

The featured image in this article, a photograph by Ll1324 of the entrance to Ashland University from College Ave, is made available under the Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication.

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About Author

Major Dan

Major Dan is a retired veteran of the United States Marine Corps. He served during the Cold War and has traveled to many countries around the world. Prior to his military service, he graduated from Cleveland State University, having majored in sociology. Following his military service, he worked as a police officer eventually earning the rank of captain prior to his retirement.