The George Washington University: Blogs

George Washington softball junior Carlee Gray and senior Victoria Valos have been named to College Sports Madness' Atlantic 10 All-Conference Second Team.

The Colonials' batting leader with a .369 average, Gray started 46 games at first base for the Buff and Blue in 2015, committing just two errors on the season.  The co-captain ranked second on the team in RBIs (23), hits (48), slugging percentage (.508) and on-base percentage (.487). Gray legged out four triples on the season, good for second in the conference, and ranked eighth in the A-10 in on-base percentage. Gray earned All-Academic honors from the conference for her strong performance on the field and stellar work in the classroom. 

Valos' .358 average put the shortstop second on the squad, and the three-time co-captain led GW in RBIs (42), home runs (8), slugging percentage (.658), on-base percentage (.487) and walks (32).  Valos will graduate as GW's all-time leader in career hits (206), runs scored (139), doubles (51), home runs (36), RBIs (170), extra-base hits (91), total bases (373), slugging percentage (.629), on-base percentage (.433), at-bats (593) and games started (199).


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@GWSquash Hosts SquashWise at LHWC

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The George Washington men's and women's squash teams continued its relationship with Baltimore's SquashWise program last week at the Matthew J. Grossman Squash Courts at Lerner Health & Wellness Center.

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This post was written by Shelby McKay, Academic Support Graduate Assistant for GW Athletics' Educational Support Services.

I was given an incredible opportunity to participate in the NCAA Emerging Leaders Seminar for graduate assistants and interns in athletic administration. I was among 200 future leaders in collegiate athletics. We all came from various roles, divisions, conferences and backgrounds. One thing we shared in common is a commitment to student-athletes. The theme of the three-day seminar was that the work we do is for the betterment of our student-athletes. This theme stemmed from the opening speech by NCAA President Dr. Mark Emmert. Dr. Emmert first touched on the current state of the NCAA and the recent changes with the five autonomy conferences, then he transitioned into the true meaning of the NCAA: taking care of our student-athletes. That moment set the tone for the rest of the seminar.

One opportunity of the seminar was for participants to attend sessions both on the field they currently work in and the field they find interesting. As the Graduate Assistant in Educational Support Services here in GW Athletics, I attended the Academic and Life Skills Session. Some the most respected athletic administrations with years of experience in academics and student development provided the room with information on their experiences and best practices. The key points for me were:

- Have a servant heart
- Collaborate with coaches
- Have positive energy
- Put programs in place to allow student-athletes to be successful
- Discover what is most important to your program
- "Nobody cares what you know until they know that you care."

Additionally, I attended a compliance session where one of my fellow participants stated, "Not everyone works in compliance, but everyone has compliance in their job." I think most of the participants walked away from the seminar having a greater appreciation for and understanding of compliance.

The rest of the seminar included multiple speakers in the athletic community on the topics of networking and the field in general. We also had the opportunity to put our knowledge and experiences together by working in a group on a case study planning a homecoming week involving scheduling, fundraising, community services and marketing. I had the privilege of working with very passionate and experienced graduate assistants and interns from Missouri, Central Florida, the Atlantic Coast Conference and the NCAA. I continue to connect with my team and all the participants of the conference on our Facebook Page where we provide each other with relevant articles.

At one point during the seminar I looked across the room and realized that one day a majority of the individuals in this seminar will be the future administrators of collegiate athletics.

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@GW_WBB's Tsipis, Jones Honored by College Sports Madness

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GW women's basketball head coach Jonathan Tsipis was named High-Major Coach of the Year and junior forward Jonquel Jones was tabbed to the All High-Major First Team by College Sports Madness
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The Atlantic 10 Coach of the Year, Coach Tsipis guided the Colonials to a program-record 29 wins and the A-10 regular-season and tournament championships. The Colonials will make their first appearance in the NCAA Tournament since 2008 after earning the league's automatic bid. 

Jones was named A-10 Player and Defensive Player of the Year - just the fourth player in conference history to win both awards in the same season - after averaging a double-double with 15.5 points and a league-best 12.4 rebounds per game, which ranks sixth nationally. Also the A-10 Championship Most Outstanding Player, Jones has posted 19 double-doubles this season. 

The Colonials will learn their NCAA Tournament fate on Monday at 7 p.m. on ESPN. Fans are invited to join the team in the Colonials Club for a Selection Show viewing party.

#GWBarca15 Day 8 - @GWMensSoccer in Barcelona

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Our final day in Spain and after a slightly later breakfast than usual, the morning entertainment came in the form of some songs and skits by players and coaches. With the task being that each group had to come up with a new GW Soccer song and a skit of the coaching staff, all the players did a great job and we saw some ver entertaining impressions and jokes as this was their opportunity to have some fun at the expense of all the coaches! Phil's impression of Coach Jake, Oli's great English accent for Coach Luke, Tobi's very elegant imitation of Bernadette and Jopus, Dom and Christian's brave impressions of Coach Jones were some of the many highlights.

We then jumped on the bus and headed to Estadi Cornella El-Prat, the home of RCD Espanyol, for their visit of Atletico Madrid, last year's La Liga champions and Champions League runners-up. It was another fantastic experience watching a top-level professional game, although unfortunately we used up all of our luck at the Barcelona game and the game ended 0-0. After a quick stop in the club shop, it was back on the bus and back to the hotel for our final team dinner. 
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After dinner, we presented our tour guide for the week, Enrique, with a GW jersey and pennant as a gift for all he had done for us throughout our time in Barcelona. It was then room and passport checks before settling down for the night before our early morning departure to the airport back to DC (after a short 19-hour trip from start to finish tomorrow!)

From all the GW Men's Soccer players and staff, we can truly say this has been an amazing and memorable experience that we will never forget. We want to thank the administration, alumni, donors, family, friends, Excel International Sports, Enrique, the staff of the Omnabrava Spa & Hotel in Santa Susana and anyone and everyone that has made this trip possible!

We look forward to seeing everyone back stateside!

#RaiseHigh

#GWBarca15 Day 7 - @GWMensSoccer in Barcelona

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After three games in four days, we had some tired-looking bodies at our 8 a.m. breakfast. An early departure for our day trip and the guys were soon awake as we arrived at Ciutat Esportiva de Sant Adria, the practice facility of RCD Espanyol and the home stadium of the Espanyol B team. While there we got to see all the facilities that a La Liga team has to offer and we had a close-up view of the B team morning practice.

The first noticeable difference was the giant sprinklers that pumped water onto the artificial turf field before practice to lean and wet the surface for the morning session. After the players had their morning stretch, the practice began with a warm-up including some juggling ball work and plyometric/footwork exercises. The group then moved into some tight possession work and our guys were definitely in awe of the obvious quality and speed of play on show. They then finished with a crossing and finishing exercise that had a couple unbelievable goals. Coach Derek paid extra attention to the goalkeepers session and I think our goalkeepers got an idea of what their practices will look like next week!

From there it was back on the bus and a short trip across the city back to Camp Nou. Here we grabbed lunch and then began our tour of the famous 98,000+ seat stadium and museum. The museum was a constant reminder of the pure quality and success that FC Barcelona have enjoyed over the years and the final stop on the tour was a view of the field and pitch-side access, which the guys took advantage of with numerous selfies! From there it was the club shop, with some (Coach Derek and Curry) taking longer than others!

We were then back on the bus and into downtown Barcelona for some more time to explore all the city has to offer. Starting off at the top of Las Ramblas, groups went off in different directions and had a few hours to enjoy some more tapas, indulge in their favorite gelato, or simply walk around and immerse themselves in the culture of the city. It was then back on the bus to the hotel, where we enjoyed another great team dinner and some well-deserved free time for the players.

Tomorrow is our last full day in Barcelona and we will enjoy some team bonding games/exercises in the morning, followed by the RCD Espanyol vs. Atletico Madrid game. Check back tomorrow for an update!

#RaiseHigh

#GWBarca15 Day 7 - @GWMensSoccer in Barcelona

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Barcelona11.jpg


After three games in four days, we had some tired-looking bodies at our 8 a.m. breakfast. An early departure for our day trip and the guys were soon awake as we arrived at Ciutat Esportiva de Sant Adria, the practice facility of RCD Espanyol and the home stadium of the Espanyol B team. While there we got to see all the facilities that a La Liga team has to offer and we had a close-up view of the B team morning practice.

The first noticeable difference was the giant sprinklers that pumped water onto the artificial turf field before practice to lean and wet the surface for the morning session. After the players had their morning stretch, the practice began with a warm-up including some juggling ball work and plyometric/footwork exercises. The group then moved into some tight possession work and our guys were definitely in awe of the obvious quality and speed of play on show. They then finished with a crossing and finishing exercise that had a couple unbelievable goals. Coach Derek paid extra attention to the goalkeepers session and I think our goalkeepers got an idea of what their practices will look like next week!

From there it was back on the bus and a short trip across the city back to Camp Nou. Here we grabbed lunch and then began our tour of the famous 98,000+ seat stadium and museum. The museum was a constant reminder of the pure quality and success that FC Barcelona have enjoyed over the years and the final stop on the tour was a view of the field and pitch-side access, which the guys took advantage of with numerous selfies! From there it was the club shop, with some (Coach Derek and Curry) taking longer than others!

We were then back on the bus and into downtown Barcelona for some more time to explore all the city has to offer. Starting off at the top of Las Ramblas, groups went off in different directions and had a few hours to enjoy some more tapas, indulge in their favorite gelato, or simply walk around and immerse themselves in the culture of the city. It was then back on the bus to the hotel, where we enjoyed another great team dinner and some well-deserved free time for the players.

Tomorrow is our last full day in Barcelona and we will enjoy some team bonding games/exercises in the morning, followed by the RCD Espanyol vs. Atletico Madrid game. Check back tomorrow for an update!

#RaiseHigh

#GWBarca15 Day 6 - @GWMensSoccer in Barcelona

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Today's blog was (beautifully) written by aspiring journalist and freshman forward Christian Lawal.

It was a bright and early start to our fifth day in Spain. At 9 a.m. prompt, the team and coaching staff climbed aboard the team bus and made our way toward Barcelona to enjoy our second experience of the Catalan city.

Upon our arrival, there could only be one attraction that caught our eyes - La Sagrada Familia. We were introduced to Barca native Felipe, who shared with us a wealth of knowledge regarding the iconic and supremely artistic church, which is yet to be completed despite construction beginning in 1882!

Around midday we headed toward our destination for lunch, passing the coast along the way, allowing us to have a brief glimpse of the Barcelona beach. At 12:30 or so we arrived at our restaurant for lunch; it had an edge and authentic Spanish vibe, not to mention some great food enjoyed by all.

Lunch eaten, we jumped on the bus and headed toward our third and final game of the trip against Gimnastic de Tarragona. It was a hut sunny day in Tarragona and, as anticipated by all, it was a tough game. 
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We went close only seconds into the match with Garrett Heine shooting fractionally wide. Smelling blood, we took the lead just a few minutes later, with yours truly heading the ball into the net accurately from close range. However, the lead was then cut short just before halftime. We showed excellent spirit and work rate throughout the game, although a combination of tired legs and opposition class led to us conceding two late goals, ending the game at 3-1.

Despite the loss, spirits among the group remained high, as the performance we displayed certainly merited more.

Excluding Eddie Painter - who unfortunately took a ball to the face during the game - we left Tarragona in one piece. With our fifth day concluded, we headed back to Santa Susana to finally put our feet up and relax after a tough few days.

With all of our games behind us, tomorrow we will get to experience Espanyol first team training and back to Camp Nou for a stadium tour!

#GWBarca15 Day 5 - @GWMensSoccer in Barcelona

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Today's blog post was written by junior forward Jonny Forrest.

The day started in the usual fashion with a buffet-style breakfast at 8 a.m. With a game later on in the day, the morning practice was just a light session to get the legs rejuvenated after a busy few days. A short run in the sunshine along the Santa Susana beach got the legs moving again, but also allowed plenty of time i the late morning for relaxation. Lunch was scheduled for 1 p.m. and again was a lovely all-you-can-eat meal provided by the hotel.

At 2 p.m. we set off on a short trip to a little city north of where we are staying called Girona. Here we were given free time to explore what the city had to offer, which turned out to be plenty. Girona is a historical place, with a large cathedral and many old runs, which opened our eyes to a lot of culture. After a fair amount of walking around the city, it was time for a pre-game meal and the (supposedly) short trip to where we were playing against FC Girona's U23 team. 
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The drive to the game turned out to be pretty eventful. We arrived at the field where we thought the game was to be played, only to learn that it had been changed to FC Salt's stadium at a different location. After a few wrong turns and quite a few trips around the same couple of roundabouts, we arrived at the correct field with only a short time to prepare for the upcoming game. It was a tough game played with a lot of intensity by both teams, but unfortunately we came out on the wrong side of a few dubious refereeing decisions and ultimately a 3-1 score line. There were a lot of positives in the performance though, one notable being the great finish by Phil McQuitty for our only goal.

Tomorrow we will head back into Barcelona for some more sightseeing in the city and then we play our third and final game in the afternoon. Looking forward to another great day!

Jonny Forrest

Quote from Coach Jones:
"I thought Girona were a very good team and they caused us problems early on and pushed us with three early goals. We showed great character to come back and stay committed and disciplined and it showed in our performance in the latter stages of the first half and a much-improved second half. Despite the result, we played some great soccer and as a group there were many positives we can take away from it."

#GWBarca15 Day 4 - @GWMensSoccer in Barcelona

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We began the day with our usual 8 a.m. breakfast followed by a light practice/cool down at 9 a.m. The practice session got a little more competitive than usual with the coaching staff (and alumni/tour host) entering a team into the 8v8 tournament! With some beautiful play, a serious lack of stamina and some dubious referring decisions, I believe the coaches won!

After the session we headed straight for the beach where we met a representative from the Santa Susana Town Hall to complete our community service project. The team was given trash bags and gloves and we all worked together to clear a part of the beach of all trash and weeds. The boys worked hard and as we finished, Coach Jones gave the team the directions for the rest of the day, along with a challenge of "last man into the ocean," which led to a mass sprint to the water! After our obligatory team photo in the Mediterranean, we walked back to the hotel to shower and change. 
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We then jumped on the bus and headed into Barcelona, where we stopped at the Museu Nacional D'Art De Catalunya. We walked the many steps to the top, which overlooks the entire city with some amazing views. We then checked out the Olympic Stadium that held the 1992 Olympic Games and was the home of Espanyol until five years ago. Coach Derek also informed us that the indoor arena was the site of the "Dream Team" and Team USA's gold medal in those games and we heard how Larry Bird was instrumental in the win (according to Coach Derek's unbiased Boston opinion!)

The guys then had a few hours to tour the city on their own, with some heading to the Picasso museum with Coach Jake and others sampling the many different dishes that Barcelona has to offer. After the short ride back to the hotel, we settled down and watched the Real Madrid vs. Schalke Champions League game and called it a night.

Tomorrow we play our second game in Girona, where we will also have the chance to tour the city beforehand. Hopefully we come away with a great experience and a positive result!

#RaiseHigh

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