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The George Washington volleyball and women's soccer teams joined together for a preseason barbecue on Saturday.  For the third straight year, the squads combined for a large dinner and some fun before classes and regular-season competition begins.

Preseason training is a crucial time when student-athletes get acclimated to campus life, rigorous training and new teammates.  Team bonding is just as important during this time as physical training and skill work. 

The time we have during preseason as a team is such an important piece to our start of the year," said head volleyball coach Amanda Ault. "It gives our new group a chance to gel and get to know one another before school starts up and our campus is in full swing. It's nice to have a night to come together and let both teams get away from training for a bit and recharge with their friends."

Aside from getting an opportunity to spend time with teammates outside of practice, student-athletes appreciate interacting with members of another team. 

"Our team dinner with volleyball is something we all look forward to every year," said women's soccer junior MacKenzie Cowley. "It gives us a chance to engage with other GW female student-athletes in a fun environment. Team bonding is a very important part of our team's culture because building good team chemistry starts off the field."

This year's entertainment included a lip-sync battle among the student-athletes that allowed members of different teams to work in groups. Creating bonds between squads will help encourage inter-sport support during each team's competition season. 

"This year's volleyball-women's soccer team dinner was the pinnacle of our annual preseason dinners," said head women's soccer coach Sarah Barnes.  "The food and company were fantastic, and the lip-sync competitions were the highlight. The student-athletes were clever and funny and put a lot of creativity into it. We are looking forward to the start of our season and excited to watch and support volleyball as their team reaches new heights this year."

The Women's soccer team kicks off the regular season on Friday, Aug. 21, in Fullerton, California, against UC Riverside, and the volleyball squad travels to Ann Arbor, Michigan, for the Michigan Invitational from Aug. 28-29. 

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George Washington baseball rising senior Luke Olson has earned his second New England Collegiate Baseball League (NECBL) Weekly Honor Roll recognition of the summer season as he continues to shine as a relief pitcher for the Plymouth Pilgrims.

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George Washington baseball rising junior Colin Gibbons-Fly and rising sophomore Mark Osis were each named All-Stars in their respective summer leagues and will compete this week in league festivities.

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George Washington baseball rising senior Luke Olson was named to the Weekly Honor Roll for the New England Collegiate Baseball League (NECBL) after blanking the opposition across 5.2 innings of work for the Plymouth Pilgrims.

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@GW_WBB's Anderson Interning at the State Department

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Located in the heart of downtown Washington, D.C., George Washington University offers its students a plethora of internship opportunities to gain experience in nearly any field imaginable. 
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Women's basketball rising senior DaLacy Anderson is taking advantage of the school's prime locale by completing a summer internship at the Department of State's White House Liaison's Office.

"I was interested in interning at DoS because I wanted to gain experience as a civil servant," said Anderson, a marketing major. "In doing so I hope to incorporate my business marketing background, along with my organizational and problem-solving skills, which I feel have been put to use during my internship at the WHL Office."

The White House Liaison's Office is responsible for slating, interviewing and appointing political appointees to serve in President Obama's administration at the State Department. As an intern, Anderson's role includes scheduling meetings for the Acting and Deputy White House Liaisons, scheduling informational interviews for potential appointees and creating and implementing special projects and programs for the WHL Office.

"I have had the opportunity to network with various people, as well as attend seminars about different offices and bureaus within the State Department," said Anderson, who will graduate next spring. "I have gained a lot of information on the different bureaus and offices that I did not not about prior to my internship. For example, I attended a seminar about the Office of Protocol and how they handle visits and events for the president, vice president and foreign ambassadors when they visit the U.S. After attending the seminar, I left feeling like that would be an office I would love to be a part of after I graduate."

George Washington baseball freshman Robbie Metz, already an Atlantic 10 All-Rookie selection, was named Second Team All-Atlantic 10 by College Sports Madness. 

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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.

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