Best of Kent: Best Women’s Team

Cameron Hoover

First placeGymnastics

The Kent State gymnastics team finished its season 8-7, including 3-3 against Mid-American Conference opponents. The team played top quality competition all year long: No. 16 Nebraska, No. 23 Iowa State and No. 2 UCLA at the Masters Classic and No. 18 George Washington at the Kent State Tri-Meet.

Despite a disappointing showing for the team at the MAC Championships for the team as a whole, freshman Abby Fletcher won the individual floor exercise title. The Flashes then moved on to compete at NCAA Regionals in Columbus.

The standout for the Flashes all season was senior Rachel Stypinski. Stypinski finishes her career as a three-time MAC gymnast of the year. Stypinski finished the season competing in just the bars at the NCAA Regionals after suffering an ankle injury during her final home meet.

Second placeBasketball

Coach Todd Starkey’s women’s basketball team finished the season 13-19, including 5-13 in the MAC, overcoming an ugly final stretch of regular season to win a thriller in the first round of the MAC Tournament.

On Dec. 19, 2017, the Flashes beat Robert Morris, 46-31, in their final nonconference game of the season, the third fewest points given up in a game in program history. On March 5, three Flashes scored over 20 points to upset No. 7 Toledo in the first round of the MAC Tournament and book a ticket to Quicken Loans Arena.

Forward Jordan Korinek finished her career with a First Team All-MAC selection, averaging 19.8 points and 6.9 rebounds per game on 50.2 percent shooting. Korinek scored over 20 points in 17 games.

Third placeVolleyball

Coach Don Gromala’s volleyball team struggled through one of its worst seasons in program history, finishing the season at 5-22, including 3-13 in the MAC.

Kent State played in one of the most epic matches in recent memory on Oct. 21, 2017, against Northern Illinois. The Flashes lost in straight sets, but the first set ended with the Huskies on top, 43-41. Since the NCAA moved to the system where 25 points wins the set in 2008, only two Division I sets have gone above 40 points.

The bright spot for the Flashes was senior Kelsey Bittinger. Bittinger was selected to the All-MAC First Team for her third straight year after finishing second in the MAC with 3.88 kills per set.

Cameron Hoover is the sports editor. Contact him at [email protected].