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New fans of the Lancer women’s volleyball team made a banner to cheer players on duing their visit to the Costa Rican city of San Ramón.New fans of the Lancer women’s volleyball team made a banner to cheer players on duing their visit to the Costa Rican city of San Ramón.

Trip to Costa Rica builds women’s volleyball team spirit

A trip to Costa Rica during fall reading week proved an amazing team-building opportunity for the Lancer women’s volleyball squad, says head coach Lucas Hodgson.

“The goal of this adventure was to come together as a team and work with the local community schools to learn about the culture in the region,” he says. “This trip was an growth opportunity for our athletes.”

The team stayed at the Soltis Center, a research facility run by Texas A&M University which backs onto a nature reserve of more than 50,000 acres of rainforest in San Ramón, Costa Rica, with what Hodgson calls “surreal views and sounds all around.”

The team enjoyed a zip lining excursion, a river rafting trip, and a guided hike through the rainforest, but also made time to engage with the community.

“We took some equipment down to the school’s field and with every passing minute a few more children and their families showed up,” Hodgson recalls. “Everyone had a tremendous time playing frisbee, volleyball, and soccer all morning. Despite the language barrier, everyone would agree that ‘fun’ was the common language.”

The student-athletes also competed against the Asovol women’s team based in San Carlos. About 100 children from local volleyball clubs took in the matches and participated in mini-clinics run by the Lancers.

“The looks on the faces of these children provided the team with a priceless and lasting memory to take home and cherish,” says Hodgson.

He credits dean of science Chris Houser with making the adventure possible, lending his expertise in the country to the squad’s preparations for the trip.

Read a full account of this experience on the women’s volleyball website.