Thursday, March 18, 2010

Welcome to Jackson, Tennessee Cougars!

By Brittany Jones

This week I will be writing my blog from the NAIA National tournament in Jackson, Tennessee. I am a sophomore on the team so this is my second time being here for this tournament and although last year was fun; this year reached a whole new level! We are being treated like royalty after our number two ranking coming down here. We were met with treats from the alumni group on the bus, and care packages from our moms. When we arrived at the hotel our doors had our numbers with a cougar basketball on them and we found lots of presents in our rooms! With our new sponsors being what they call “Super Sponsors” we received fruit baskets, umbrellas beach balls, first aid kits, and a ton of other hair and body care supplies to last us the week. We were all like kids in a candy store with all of our new toys! The next morning after practice we went to a lunch hosted in the hospital by our sponsors “West Tennessee Health Care” where we received a standing ovation and an extremely warm welcome by the staff at a reception just for us. We are truly being treated like celebrities. Everywhere we turn we are given a gift or bought lunch it is really amazing. We also have a SouthtownStar photographer traveling with us at all times who is like the paparazzi! He is also keeping a blog on all of our activities! Check it out at here! The NAIA threw all of the 32 teams a big banquet with a great buffet and many speakers. It was here that Erin Hannemann was named to the 1st team All- American… She is a stud!

Our first game will be at 6:15 tonight vs. Evangel University. They come into the tournament as an 8 seed and we are a 1 seed so we have high hopes to get past the first round. We have hit one road block on this great trip though. Junior guard Shalonda Young who is our third leading scorer and one of the four main starters sprained her ankle in Tuesday’s practice. We are lucky to have the athletic trainer Kate with us to tend to her, but we won’t be sure if she can play or not until game time tomorrow. Cross your fingers Cougs!

I am sad to report that the men’s basketball team lost today in their 4:30 first round game in Kansas to number three seed Oklahoma Baptist University 96-72. The guys made an impressive run to get to the tournament and end with a 23-10 record. Congrats on a very good season guys!

I hope that the next blog I write will be as a national champion! If you want to follow our games you can do so at NAIA. Until next time! GO COUGARS!

Brittany Jones is a sophomore I/O psychology major from Tinley Park, IL. She is a Student Government Association senator, Vice President of the American Red Cross Club, and a forward on the Women's basketball team. Consideration for the student bloggers is provided by Saint Xavier University.

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