Women’s Basketball team enjoyed their preseason trip in Europe


AU Women's Basketball Team in Europe


The AU Women’s Basketball team spent a few days in Europe sightseeing during their preseason.
Going to an overseas preseason trip is allowed once every four years, and this time Fast Break Club provided the Eagles a chance to compete in Madrid, Spain.

Besides playing the games, the girls also explored the two beautiful countries, Spain and Portugal.

“The games overseas are really good for us,” Eagles head coach Kari Pickens said. “Those three European teams played in different styles with us. They made a lot of physical contact and moved really quickly.”

This trip was a good way to learn what positions the players were best in, Kari said.

On Aug. 19 Ashland turned a 22-7 halftime lead into a 73-39 victory over Club Olímpico 64 Madrid, and on Aug. 20 the Eagles led the Madrid All Stars by six points at halftime (39-33) and finished with an 80-70 victory.

Ashland finished the trip with an 84-53 win vs. Club Olimpico 64 Madrid on Aug. 21.

“After competing those three games, I found the game in Europe is quite different. I mean the ball used in the game, the court, and even how their team moved; it is just really different,” said Renee Stimpert, player of women’s basketball team.

In Portugal the Eagles participated in a walking tour of Lisbon, went to the beach town of Sesimbra, took part in a dolphin bay excursion, and spent time on a yacht for an evening.

On Aug. 16, the team took part in an elite camp training at a top Portuguese training center, then later attended a surfing clinic.
While in Spain, the Eagles had a free day to explore Madrid, visiting the Prado Museum and exploring the medieval city of Toledo.

“It was a great experience for us to travel together to get to know each other, especially since we have two freshmen and one transfer player on the team. It will definitely help them fit in the new environment,” Stimpert said.

In the 2018-19 season, the Eagles finished 29-3 overall and 18-2 in GLIAC, winning their fourth consecutive conference tournament and qualifying the team for their fifth Division II postseason in a row.

Over the last eight seasons, AU Women’s Basketball has put together perhaps the best stretch in NCAA Division II: two national championships, two national runner-up finishes, seven D-II playoff appearances, six GLIAC Tournament championships, five GLIAC regular-season titles, a Division II basketball record 73-game winning streak (Nov. 11, 2016-March 21, 2018), an aggregate record of 246-27 and a more than 90 percent winning rate.

Those 246 wins represent the most for any D-II women’s hoops program in the last eight seasons.