ARLINGTON, Texas - Coming off a 22-win season and a trip to the Women's NIT, UTA women's basketball announced that the preparation for the 2017-18 season will begin with a four-game, nine-day trip to San Jose, Costa Rica beginning August 14.
The Lady Mavericks will play a pair of games against the Costa Rica National Team as well as the University of Ottawa during the tour. In between games, the team will be taking the opportunity to go through team-bonding exercises, learn about the culture of Costa Rica as well as give back to the community through volunteering at a local orphanage.
"We have had this foreign tour in mind for this team since we took the job four years ago," UTA coach Krista Gerlich said. "It's a great opportunity for us to have 10 extra practice days and four games in the month of August to prepare us for the upcoming season. Not only will we benefit from the on-court experience, but we are looking forward to serving the youth of Costa Rica and learning more about their country and culture. Our players will build life long friendships and memories with teammates, coaches, support staff and the people of Costa Rica.
"I'm so appreciative of the UTA administration to see the value in a trip like this for our student-athletes. I know our players will have a meaningful experience and will be better in all aspects because of this opportunity."
The foreign tour is the first for the Lady Mavs since playing in the Cancun Caribbean Classic in 2006 and first trip in the preseason in program history.
Following a five-night stay in San Jose, UTA will depart to Los Suenos on Aug. 19 where it will look to continue to grow as a team.
Since taking over the program in 2013, Gerlich has made it a priority to expand the experience of her student-athletes while they are Lady Mavericks as they grow to succeed beyond UTA. The Lady Mavs took part in the 2016 Seton Hall Thanksgiving Classic in November – a tournament in which they won – and took time away from the court to visit New York City with tours that included the National September 11 Memorial & Museum, Times Square and Central Park.
The Lady Mavericks finished second in a competitive Sun Belt Conference and reached the tournament's semifinals. UTA was invited to the Women's NIT, just the fifth overall postseason appearance, where they fell in a close battle with Tulane. In the upcoming season, UTA will feature first-team selection and member of the 1,000 point club Rebekah VanDijk and reigning SBC Defensive Player of the Year Cierra Johnson.
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