Turnaround win for JCU Women’s Basketball can propel to a consistent season


JCU Sports Information Department

Ava Ryncarz shoots from behind the line as she led the way in points for JCU on Saturday.

Leah Harrigan, Staff Reporter

As the winter athletics season progresses, all teams strive for one overarching theme: consistency.

The John Carroll Women’s Basketball team is in the process of establishing the consistent style of play that will likely propel their squad to a successful remainder of the season. 

On Sat., Jan. 29, the Blue Streaks faced Capital University for the second time this season. This bout of competition brought forth a 53-46 victory which proved to be quite the turnaround from their initial meeting against the Comets where, in their first game against one another, the Blue Streaks fell 48-74.

John Carroll’s new winning strategy is as fundamental as it gets: defense.

John Carroll was able to hold Capital to 12 points in the first half, a rare occurrence at the collegiate level especially among teams that bring forth competitive offense technique.

It seemed as if the Blue Streaks understood that discipline, toughness and energy would be the guiding factors to victory. 

In fact, the majority of points scored by John Carroll were a result of a regimented defense that forced Capital to lose control of the ball. 

Ava Ryncarz ‘26 led the way with 13 points on the day. However, her success was undoubtedly derived from team chemistry and goal-oriented structuring on the court. For the Blue and Gold, communication and cohesiveness on defense created scenarios where John Carroll could intercept passes, leading to fast breaks in their favor.

Maddie Pietrowski ‘25 and Carmen Heuker ‘26 spread themselves throughout every inch of the court, securing steals and changes of possession. The pair tallied 9 and 10 points, respectively.

Carmen Heuker holds strong on defense as JCU stifles Capital on offense. (JCU Sports Information Department)

After a tight grip on the pacing of the first half, the sequence of events within the second portion of play followed a traditional trajectory of Ohio Athletic Conference basketball. Both teams traded possessions and felt new surges of momentum. 

Although the Blue Streaks felt satisfied with comfortable leads throughout the game, the squad also understood that the Comets would play with intensity until the final buzzer.

This meant that John Carroll continued to press firmly on the gas pedal that represented their team drive. Capital was able to creep back into a reasonable deficit, as the Comets miraculously found themselves within ten points as the final five minutes of the game began to close. Nevertheless, the Blue Streaks anchored down on their home court and secured the victory. 

For John Carroll, this game was a symbol of passion. In sports, it is essential to adopt a fleeting memory. This correlates to the idea that teams cannot dwell on past losses because the only option is to prepare and discuss what the future could hold. 

Despite a sizable loss in their initial meeting, the Blue and Gold exercised a team commitment to embracing what could be rather than what once was. 

After a pivotal triumph, John Carroll will continue to focus on their fundamentals and the future as they are set to host Heidelberg University on Wed., Feb. 1 at 7 p.m.