JCU Women’s Basketball looks for bounce back for final regular season games


JCU Sports Information Department

Ava Ryncarz dribbles it up for the Blue Streaks this season.

Leah Harrigan, Staff Reporter

Regardless of record or standing, it can be anyone’s game.

John Carroll Women’s Basketball took a trip to Ada, Ohio on Sat., Feb. 11 to face-off against a No. 10 ranked Ohio Northern team. Despite the high standing, the Blue Streaks were able to put forth a valiant effort.

Unfortunately, the near-perfect offensive and defensive performances for John Carroll could not amount to victory as the Blue and Gold suffered a 58-68 loss.

But, this loss doesn’t take away from what John Carroll left on the court that day: courage, hustle, community and grit.

The Polar Bears, who are ranked nationally, entered the game with a confidence that comes with proving a skill-level or position amongst other squads. On the other hand, John Carroll took the court with an underdog mentality. 

There’s something to be said about coming in with bets on the opposition: you aren’t expected to shine but, when you do, there is no superior feeling of satisfaction.

This would help to explain the motivation behind John Carroll’s stellar performance against high-level talent.

In the opening quarter of play, the Polar Bears dominated the point totals in their home atmosphere but it didn’t take the Blue Streaks long to become acclimated with the novel  environment. 

The Blue and Gold fought to a 12-16 point spread in favor of Ohio Northern by the end of the first. This was a testament to John Carroll’s tenacity as the Blue Streaks faced an initial starter of the quarter with a quick 2-13 run for their opposition.  

But as the second quarter unfolded, John Carroll’s path to an upset became much more viable.

Maddie Pietrowski looks to her teammates for support on offense. (JCU Sports Information Department)

Halle Landies ‘24 silenced a confident crowd with a quick three-pointer, which gave the Blue and Gold a surge of momentum as the remainder of the quarter ticked away. With each waning second, Ava Ryncarz ‘26 continued her juggernaut presence on the court, netting a plethora of three-pointers. Landies and Ryncarz were key in giving John Carroll a 30-26 lead as they traveled to the locker room at the half.

And as expected, the Blue Streaks played with the same impressive caliber in the third quarter, maintaining a lead over a stunned Polar Bears squad.

It would be the final quarter of the play that truly dictated the result of the game. John Carroll executed a disciplined defense but Ohio Northern had a seemingly magical “shooter’s” touch that resulted in the 33-point quarter for the Polar Bears.

Several Blue Streaks had a serious impact on the potential upset. Ryncarz and Landies finished with 19 and 16 points respectively. Kaelyn Underwood ‘23 and Carmen Hueker ‘26 worked to facilitate and create scoring opportunities for John Carroll as well.

Despite a devastating loss, this game showed the intense potential that John Carroll possesses as the season continues. A loss is always difficult to stomach but the Blue Streaks can hold their heads high for the commendable effort that was exercised.

Sooner rather than later, the dedication and relentless work will pay off. With confidence levels rising, the Blue Streaks hit the playbook and prepared for a makeup game against Heidelberg on Mon., Feb. 13. In a close for comfort victory, the Blue and Gold came out the victors 55-50 of a back and forth battle. 

John Carroll will remain in University Heights on Wed., Feb. 15 as they host the Baldwin Wallace Yellow Jackets for a special night of celebrating Grade School Basketball, Academic Importance and Morgan’s Message Game Tip off will begin at 7 p.m.