A season to remember

A+season+to+remember

A season to remember

Noah Cloonan

It was a remarkable, record-breaking season for the Ashland University Women’s basketball team and for first year head coach Robyn Fralick.

Fralick took over the head-coaching job from previous head coach, Sue Ramsey, who won over 350 games as the head coach of the Eagles, including winning a National Championship in 2013. Fralick had big shoes to fill and she more than lived up to the expectations.

“There is a learning curve that goes with anything when it is novel and when it’s new,” said Fralick “so yeah there was definitely a [learning curve].

That learning curve didn’t take long as the Eagles started off the season by winning their first 21 games. Although a record for this stat is not kept, Fralick’s 21 straight wins to open up a coaching career is the best mark in the history of NCAA Division II Women’s Basketball.

During this 21 game win streak the Eagles dominated their opponents, outscoring them by an average of over 20 points per game. The streak featured overcoming a 13 point second half deficit at the University of Findlay to defeat the Oilers and a gritty, double overtime victory at Wayne State.

The Eagles took their first and only loss of the regular season in Canton against a tough Walsh team. The team rebounded from that loss and ended the regular season winning their final six games.

The Eagles took home the GLIAC South regular season title and were announced as the host school for the GLIAC tournament.

“Getting to host is such a privilege, its really hard to do,” said coach Robyn Fralick. “It’s a testament to having a great regular season.”

Ashland ran through the GLIAC tournament with little difficulty as they captured their third GLIAC Championship in school history.

“To cut down the nets and to watch your kids hoist the trophy and smile is a really priceless moment,” said Fralick “That just captures a lot of peoples hard work.”

The Eagles were not finished yet as they ended the season and entered the Regional tournament as the number three ranked team in the country. This also led to the Eagles capturing a one seed for the NCAA tournament and once again allowed the Eagles to play host inside of Kate’s Gymnasium.

Ashland made history once again as they defeated Ursuline College, thanks to a last second shot by Andi Daugherty. With this victory the Eagles improved their home win streak to a record 30 games and got their 163rd victory since the start of the 2010 season. This made Ashland the winningest program in Division II over the past six seasons.

The Eagles moved on to the Regional Semi-finals where they fell to Drury on their home floor.

“We had a bad night,” said Fralick. “We had a great season, but we had a bad night, and we picked a bad night to have a bad night.”

Ashland finished the season with a record of 31-2, the third best record in program history.

“It was a great season because we had kids that were willing to be good teammates,” said Fralick. “That’s the most rewarding piece of it.”

The Eagles will lose seniors Jamie Sobczak and McKenzie Miller, but will return most of the core from their record-breaking season.

“It’s always sad to see the seniors graduate because you just see them grow in so many areas of your life,” said Fralick. “But we’ll be really excited about the players returning and about the players coming in [next season].”

Among the stars returning for the Eagles are: Andi Daugherty, Laina Snyder, and Julie Worley, the team’s three leading scorers.

Fralick is still processing this past season in her head but is excited for what the future holds at Ashland University.

“Every team is a new journey,” said Fralick, “and it’s a new dynamic to figure out how all the pieces fit together.” 

Fralick cant help but look back at what could have been done this season.