Cross-country road-trip gives Lady Eagles experience, recognition
Published: Wednesday, September 5, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, September 5, 2012 01:09
The FGCU volleyball team added to its frequent flier miles this weekend by traveling to the Wyoming Cowgirl Classic in Laramie. In four games the girls went 2-2, playing teams such as Bethune- Cookman, George Washington, University of Missouri-Kansas City and Wyoming. The Lady Eagles travelled 2,077 miles northwest for the tournament.
Head coach Dave Nichols jumps at the chance to play in tournaments in other states.
“We get three to four weekends in which we play quality teams across the country,” Nichols said. “I thought it would be very cool to go to a place that the girls have never been to plus Wyoming is an outstanding program.”
Nichols says that it was pretty simple for FGCU to get involved with the tournament. “I know the coach at Wyoming,” he said. “I like to give the girls the opportunity to go someplace and learn a little bit about their own country.”
Nichols also appreciates the exposure that FGCU gets at these tournaments.
“We have a lot to be proud of,” Nichols said. “The locals treated us great and the girls represented themselves really well. We’ve been all over the country such as Oregon and Michigan and we’ve played three different teams that have been ranked number one.”
Nichols also realizes the recognition that the school is getting throughout the country. “When I would go recruiting and mention FGCU people would respond with FGC who? When I talk about FGCU families know about it. FGCU is a brand name that people are recognizing now.”
Sophomore Kaitlin Holm was named to the University of Wyoming Cowgirl Classic All-Tournament team and also earned A-Sun player of the week nomination.
Holm points out that playing in Wyoming brought a different feel to the team. “Wyoming was kind of weird because the altitude was so high the ball was traveling further than it does here,” she said. “It took us a little time to get used to that but by the end of the tournament we were flying.”
Holm also notices that the people in Wyoming got a good glimpse of the Florida school. “Everyone in Wyoming saw that we were dressed alike and the people figured out who we are,” she said. “They saw us play and more people got to know about our university.”
Holm’s favorite part about traveling is the outdoor pursuits that the team gets to do. “We got to go up to the mountains and hike,” she said. “It was really awesome to see a whole part of the country that I’d never been to.”
This weekend FGCU will add to their traveling experiences with a trip to Toledo, Ohio for the Rocket Classic.