Ashland University's women's basketball team spent its waning days of summer break winning games and seeing the sights in Europe.
Going on an overseas trip the NCAA allows for once every four years, the Eagle women went 3-0 against Madrid, Spain-based teams, while working in plenty of sightseeing and adventures in both Spain and Portugal.
"The games overseas, they were really good for us," said Ashland head coach Kari Pickens, "because they provided us an opportunity to see things that we needed to get better at, things that we can continue to grow in.
"It also gave us a chance to see who fit well in certain positions, what lineups look good together."
- On Aug. 19, Ashland turned a 22-7 halftime lead into a 73-39 victory over Club Olimpico 64 Madrid.
- 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.
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 elite camp training at a top Portuguese training center, then did a surfing clinic.
While in Spain, the Eagles had a free day to explore Madrid, visiting the Prado Museum, and explored the medieval city of Toledo.
"We're so incredibly thankful for the Fastbreak Club for providing us this opportunity, and the funds to be able to go overseas," Pickens said, "and give our girls a once-in-a-lifetime experience."
In 2018-19, the Eagles finished 29-3 overall and 18-2 in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, winning their fourth consecutive GLIAC Tournament championship and qualifying for the Division II postseason for the fifth year in a row.
Over the last eight seasons, Ashland 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), and an aggregate record of 246-27 (.901).
Those 246 wins represent the most for any D-II women's hoops program in the last eight seasons.