Looking back at a successful sports season and hoping for an even better future

Doug Gulasy

I’ll put this simply: I’m a winner…as a sports journalist, that is.

Need an explanation? No problem.

I’ve been a sports reporter for the Stater for three semesters now, and in that time I have covered six teams on a full-time basis: gymnastics, softball , volleyball, men’s basketball and Kent State golf.

In the time that I have covered those teams, they have had a combined record of 72-26, 37-12 in the Mid-American Conference.

The teams have combined for three MAC regular season championships and two MAC tournament championships, and the men’s golf team has a chance to win its MAC Championships this weekend.

Simply put, the teams have had a lot of success when I covered them, and I feel at least partly responsible for it.

OK, not really. The truth is that most of the sports reporters have had experiences similar to mine while covering their respective teams this season.

As a whole, the Kent State athletic department has had a terrific 2007-08 season.

For example:

• Volleyball – In coach Glen Conley’s first season, the Flashes went 22-10, achieving nine more wins than the previous season. They won 20 matches for the first time since 1997 and won two matches in the MAC Tournament for the first time in program history.

• Field hockey – The Flashes went 12-9 after a 7-15 finish the year before. They finished second to Ohio in the MAC during the regular season and beat No. 11 Ohio 1-0 on Oct. 7.

• Men’s basketball – The team won the MAC regular season and MAC Tournament title to advance to the NCAA Tournament. The Flashes’ 28 wins were their most since the 2001-02 season, and they beat a ranked team (St. Mary’s) during the regular season for the first time in program history.

• Gymnastics – The team dominated the MAC all season long, going 6-0 in the conference and 11-3 overall. The Flashes continued their dominance in the MAC Championships at the M.A.C. Center in late March, winning by a wide margin to advance to the NCAA Central Regional.

• Softball – The team is in line to win its second straight MAC regular season title; the Flashes are 36-10 and 16-2 in the MAC. Senior Gabrielle Burns and sophomore Kylie Reynolds have won MAC Pitcher of the Week honors a combined seven times.

• Baseball – After a slow start, the Flashes have won 16 of their past 18 games, highlighted by a 12-game win streak. The team currently leads the MAC East and has a chance to win its second straight MAC Tournament title.

• Women’s golf – The Flashes won their 10th consecutive MAC championship by a 51-stroke margin last weekend in Indianapolis.

It’s been a great year for all Kent State teams, and the future looks just as good. Each team returns great players and coaches and hopes to win the MAC again next season.

That should give me – and other Stater writers – some more victories to write about next year.

Contact sports reporter Doug Gulasy at [email protected].