Lady Lions learn hula, play top ranking team

Kristen Smith

While the majority of Missouri Southern students were heading home from a busy semester ready for a relaxing white Christmas, the Lady Lions basketball team was packing its uniforms, swim suits and hula skirts in preparation for a trip to Hawaii.

The women spent a week in Hilo, Hawaii, as they took part in the sixth annual Coconut Coast Classic.

Despite the time spent digging toes in the sand, touring Pearl Harbor, attending a luau, snorkeling, shopping and walking through a volcano, it wasn’t all fun and games, or was it?

The women did get to play games against one of the top teams in the nation.

The Lady Lions got down to business as they took on California University of Pennsylvania and Concordia University Wisconsin.

Although they lost to California University, the women had a great time and were able to defeat Concordia University.

“We played one of the top teams in the nation, and were capable of beating them, but we didn’t,” said senior guard Jamie Green. “It made us a better team.”

Seven women’s teams and four men’s teams were in Hawaii with the Lady Lions. The teams included Mid-America Nazarene (Kansas), Ouachita Baptist University (Arkansas), California University, Concordia University and The Masters, California.

It wasn’t exactly a free trip to paradise for the Lady Lions.

The women raised $1,500 each by participating in a jog-a-thon.

All of the women were able to go except one freshman player who has a red shirt for the season.

“It was the trip of a lifetime,” Green said. “I’m thankful to our coaches for putting it together and making it possible.”

The women agreed the trip was a great experience and they all had a wonderful time.

Team unity was a large outcome of the trip.

Junior forward Kacey Grosse said the women had the opportunity to get better acquainted with each other because of the time that they were able to spend together.

“We got know our boosters as well as sides of each other that we normally don’t see,” said Jacquie Rzeszut, senior.