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Lady Eagles Hope To Settle Unfinished Business
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Story By: Brian Skowronski

 

 

 
 
 
   
   
  Originally Published on: 3/25/2013

The women's NCAA Division II basketball quarterfinals tip-off in San Antonio Tuesday night and just one team is making a repeat appearance in the Elite Eight from last season. Ashland University returns to the lone star state for a second consecutive season as the only team in the country revisiting the quarterfinals from last year.

The top-seeded Lady Eagles were the #1 ranked team in the nation for much of the season, running up an impressive 34-1 record thus far, after beginning their campaign at 25-0. A big part of Ashland's prosperity has been focusing on the present head coach Sue Ramsey says, and not getting too far ahead of themselves.

"Part of the reason we've been successful is staying focused on just one game ahead." Ramsey says. "We never think too far down the road."

Ramsey's Eagles went as far down the road as you can possibly get a season ago, making the school's first ever appearance in the women's basketball championship game. Last years squad finished 33-2, losing just their first and last games of the season, and took national champion Shaw to overtime in the title game. Ramsey admits that the loss stung for quite a while and that there is some added motivation to bring home the hardware this year, but she insists her only focus in the teams next game.

"If we just take care of business as we go along then eventually, hopefully we can get to a point where we reach that ultimate goal." Ramsey says.

The Eagles next opponent is a familiar foe and a team they beat earlier in the season at the Disney Tip-Off Classic in November. The 31-4 Golden Knights of Gannon from Erie, Pa. are A.U.'s quarterfinal opponent, a young team Ramsey says has grown a lot throughout the course of the season. Gannon is the 7th ranked team in the nation and will likely be a much different squad than the one #2 Ashland played earlier this season. But A.U. junior guard Alyssa Miller, who played a huge role on last years national runner-up team, says her Eagles are more confident heading to San Antonio this year with the added wisdom of last seasons tournament.

"Going down there [to San Antonio] we have more experience and we know that we are one of the best teams and need to trust in ourselves." Miller says. "We have a goal in mind and we are going to give one hundred percent. I think if we go down there with that focus we're going to be unstoppable."

The Eagles lost just one player from last years team in guard Jena Stutzman and bring four starters back to San Antonio this season. Ashland will square off with Gannon Tuesday evening at Bill Greehey Arena, with the tip-off slated for 9:30 p.m. EST.

   
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