LORETTO - The Saint Francis University women's basketball team is taking a foreign trip to Italy on Aug 3-11 where it will play three exhibition games and visit five different cities.
The Red Flash utilized the first summer session to practice and will come back to Loretto a few days before departure to practice before the tour.
"Making this trip to Italy is just a huge opportunity for our program, and its something the team will remember for the rest of their lives," SFU coach Joe Haigh said.
SFU brings in six newcomers to the roster in 2014-15, and the exhibition games will be a good test for how the team has grown since March. Saint Francis also carries four seniors to its roster, which is two more than it had last season when it made its second consecutive trip to the Northeast Conference Finals and 16th in the past 21 years.
"We are in a transition period, and being able to practice for a summer session with a new team is great. We have four seniors now, and we get to watch them take over this team," Haigh said.
Saint Francis' first game will be in Como City against All Star Team Italy on Aug. 5. The Red Flash play the next night in Verona against the Montecchio All Star Team. Finally, on Aug. 8, SFU closes out its exhibition games against the Adriatic Sea Sirens in San Marino.
The Red Flash will be doing plenty of sightseeing while in Italy - they will have guided tours in Milan, Verona, Venice, the Accademia Gallery in Florence and the Coliseum in Rome. The team will also take a three-hour cruise on Lake Como and visit the Vatican Museums.
"Being a catholic school, it will be a great opportunity to travel to one of the religious centers of the world, and we couldn't be more excited for that experience," Haigh said.
SFU will arrive back in the United States on the evening of Aug. 11.
Pitt men going to Bahamas
PITTSBURGH - In preparation for its 2014-15 season, the University of Pittsburgh men's basketball team will travel to the Bahamas for a four-game, seven-day foreign competition trip in early August, coach Jamie Dixon announced on Monday.
The Panthers will depart for Nassau, Bahamas on Friday, Aug. 1 and return to Pittsburgh on Thursday, Aug. 7.
Pitt has scheduled four games on the tour. Pitt will play the Commonwealth Giants on Saturday, Aug. 2 (3 p.m.), Bahamas All-Stars on Sunday, Aug. 3 (3 p.m.), the Street Legends All-Stars on Tuesday, Aug. 5 (9 p.m.) and the Atlantis All-Stars on Wednesday, Aug. 6 (7 p.m.). All four games will be played at The Kendal G.L. Isaacs National Gymnasium at the Queen Elizabeth Sports Centre, located in the Central New Providence neighborhood in Nassau.
Pitt will stay at the Atlantis Resort on Atlantis Paradise Island. Pitt is one of several NCAA Division I college basketball programs that will travel to the Bahamas for an August foreign basketball tour, joining the likes of Kentucky, North Carolina, Ohio State, Mississippi and Cincinnati.
"From a basketball perspective, this is an outstanding opportunity for our team to get an early start on the season," Dixon said. "It is also a chance for the players, coaches, support staff, administration and families to experience the Bahamas."
The NCAA allows member institutions to schedule one foreign tour every four years and permits 10 practice days prior to the date of departure. Pitt began team practices for its foreign tour in early July. Incoming student-athletes must be certified as meeting all NCAA Division I initial-eligibility requirements, must have been enrolled in a previous summer term and must have passed at least three credit hours during that summer term prior to departure.
Two former Pitt players - Doyle Hudson (2005-07) and Dwight Miller (2009-10) are Bahamas natives.
n The Penn State Lady Lions and the Pink Zone at Penn State will help the State College Spikes as they "Paint the Park Pink" for breast cancer awareness on Sunday, Aug. 3 at 6:05 p.m. against Hudson Valley. As part of the Pink Zone celebration, there will be a special Pink Zone discounted ticket for a field box ticket for $8.50. Lady Lion coach Coquese Washington will throw out the first pitch for the game, and members of the Lady Lions will sign autographs on the concourse during the second inning.