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Goodbye to four years of experiences

18 November 2012 By Alena Schwarz, Sports Editor No Comments

Sports journalism is tricky business. On one hand, as a journalist, you’re always told to be objective, but at the same time, everyone has the tendency to cheer a little bit in the press box.

I’ve covered Towson’s volleyball team for all of my four years here and I’ve gotten attached.

I’ve seen this team at the lowest of lows and the highest of highs.

My first season was the last in the Paul Koncir coaching era. The team suffered, but I covered it, hoping for a win to cover. The second game I had to cover the team when they went to Georgia State and when Pete Lorenz, the then-Sports Editor, told me I needed to cover the game, I thought he expected me to find my own way down to Georgia.

When I was later told I only needed to call the coach, that thought almost scared me more. I didn’t want to intrude on his personal life, but I’ve since learned that if you haven’t called a coach 15 times trying to get them to call back, you really haven’t been trying.

When current head coach Bruce Atkinson came in the season after, there was an apparent change in the team. Towson fought harder and didn’t cave as easily when the going got tough.

As a result, it finally logged a winning season.

The next year, Towson made it to the postseason for the first time in three years. I remember sitting in the halls of George Mason’s Recreation and Athletic Complex, watching the scores of the James Madison game, waiting to see how the standings would be set.

But the playoffs didn’t go anywhere near as planned. No. 3 Towson was upset by No. 6 Virginia Commonwealth. The car ride home from Delaware felt as heartbreaking as the bus ride for the team must have been. After all the work the team had put in, it deserved to go a little farther.

But this season was different. The players were more experienced, stronger-willed, more determined, and it showed in their play. With an undefeated conference record, this was supposed to be the team’s year. For four years I’ve covered this team and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want Towson to win it all.

There’s a little voice inside every journalist that says you just want the team you cover to win so the players and coaches are easier to talk to. While that’s true, there’s also a part of every sports journalist that is a fan of the team they cover. That’s just the nature of sports. They say you never forget your first, and volleyball was my first. It was the first game I covered in my college writing career and my first sports beat I could call my own. It has been a true pleasure to cover volleyball these past four years. I’ve now found a new sport to love just as much as I love hockey.

So to Koncir, Atkinson and every player I’ve talked to in my four years covering the team, thank you.

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