Shepherd University’s women’s basketball team has won a seat in the upcoming NCAA division II tournament for the second time.
“I think it’s well deserved,” Shepherd head coach Jenna Eckleberry said. “From September 1, that was our goal. It’s good to see hard work pay off. Only 10 percent of student athletes get to experience this.”
The Lady Rams, who ranked seventh in the Atlantic Region, finished the regular season 20-8. They earned a share of the Mountain East Conference regular season title with West Liberty.
Shepherd entered the MEC tournament as the two seed. After a bye in the first round, they won their quarterfinals match against Glenville State 100-91. They would end up losing to Notre Dame in the semifinals 75-65.
Eckleberry said that it was exciting for the team to go to Charleston. “Our seniors really enjoyed it, and our younger players got to see what it was about,” she said.
The Lady Rams will play their first round match against Indiana University of Pennsylvania on Friday, March 13 at 2:30. In their meeting earlier this season, IUP, who holds a 25-3 record, came out on top 85-52.
“They’re a talented team and we have nothing but respect for them,” Eckleberry said. “But anything can happen. We’re ready to go.”