Truman state senior Ashley Hartwig

Truman State senior Ashley Hartwig.

Submitted photo

The trophy case is empty for the Truman State women’s basketball program.

The Bulldogs have never won a Great Lakes Valley Conference title or even finished second.

Ashley Hartwig hopes to change that this season.

The 2013 Janesville Parker High graduate is a big reason why Truman State is currently 7-2 overall and 2-0 in the GLVC. Hartwig leads the Bulldogs in assists and minutes played and is second in points per game (11.6) and rebounds (5.4).

Hartwig said the team’s strong start is not unexpected. She said the group set the bar high coming into the season.

“Our No. 1 goal coming into the season was to win the conference tournament and get an automatic berth into the NCAA (Division II) Tournament,” Hartwig said. “We really feel like we have a chance to be Truman’s best team ever.

“And even though we lost a couple games this season, I think we learned a lot from both of them. Our second loss was on a buzzer-beater, but we turned right around our next game and won our conference opener. That showed a lot about this team.”

Hartwig’s mother, Jennah, is the head coach at Parker, and her sister, Julia, is a junior on the team.

Ashley Hartwig spent her freshman year at Winona State in Minnesota. She redshirted her first year and decided to transfer to another school.

“I liked Winona, but I didn’t think the program was headed in the right direction and just wasn’t quite the right fit for me,” she said.

Not sure where she wanted to transfer, Ashley contacted Amy Eagan, who took over the Truman State program in 2013. Eagan had recruited Ashley in high school when she was head coach at Ashford College in Iowa. Eagan didn’t hesitate in offering Hartwig the chance to join the Bulldogs program.

“Coach Eagan has shown confidence in me since I first joined the team,” Hartwig said. “I got a chance to play right away, and that was important. It has worked out really well.”

Hartwig started 26 of 27 games her redshirt freshman year and has been a full-time starter ever since. She averaged 10.2 points per game last season along with 5.8 rebounds.

Listed as a small forward, Hartwig is capable of playing any position on the court. She is 5-foot-11 and is versatile enough to play in the post or bring the ball up the court.

“I know this is my last year, so I’m trying to play with as much confidence as I can,” Hartwig said. “It’s so much fun to play on this team, because we’re all really super competitive and know this team has a chance to be special.”

Hartwig will graduate in May with a degree in biology. She hopes to be a physician’s assistant and plans to move back to Wisconsin. Her sister verbally committed to play for UW-Green Bay starting in 2019, and Ashley wants to see Julia play as much as possible.

Right now, though, Ashley’s main concern is acquiring some hardware for Truman State’s trophy case.

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