Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Richmond preps for overseas trip

Two practices down, eight more to go for the Richmond Spiders as they prepare for their Scandinavian tour Aug. 10-19. What have we learned so far? That the Spiders apparently have some pretty smart newcomers. Thanks to a new NCAA rule, incoming freshmen are now eligible to make these summer trips.

Obviously, we are ahead of the game at this point, but I have been impressed with the freshmen's ability to pick up specific concepts," Spiders coach Michael Shafer said.

Becca Wann
The Spiders will take all their newcomers except walk-on Becca Wann, the Cosby High two-sport star who is on scholarship with a Richmond women's soccer team that begins its season on Aug. 20. Last week, Wann was named to the women's soccer preseason All-Atlantic 10 rookie team.

As for the basketball team, time will tell how much this Scandinavian adventure will serve as a prelude to a successful regular season. But if recent Richmond history is any indication, the Spiders could be poised for a big year. The last time Richmond ventured overseas, to Spain and Portugal in the summer of 2004, they finished the 2004-05 season with a 23-8 record and the Spiders' first-ever at-large NCAA tournament bid. And after a 2000 summer trip to England and France, the Spiders' posted 16 victories, four more than the previous season and tied for the most since the 1996-97 campaign.

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