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BOCA RATON, Fla. - The Florida Atlantic University women's basketball team will compete three times in Canada over the next week as part of a preseason tour of the Pacific Northwest.
The Owls will travel nearly 2,800 miles and three time zones west to play in British Columbia, specifically the cities of Vancouver, Abbotsford and Victoria. The first game will take place on Thursday at 5:15 p.m. PST, 8:15 Eastern time, against UBC Select.
The following day the squad plays again, at 7 p.m. (10 p.m. EST), taking on the University of Fraser Valley. After some sightseeing opportunities, the competition on the tour will conclude on Tuesday, Aug. 16, with the Owls going against Camosun College at 6 p.m. (9 p.m. EST). The team will return to Boca Raton overnight on Thursday, Aug. 18.
"This trip will provide so many opportunities for our program," said head coach Kellie Lewis-Jay on the tour blog (found here: http://ksmit207.wixsite.com/fauwbbtakesbc). "The first has occurred before we left the state of Florida. We were able to get 10 days of practice, I watched our returners lead and I have watched our seven newcomers take the program's culture to a level it has never been. We will play three games while we are on our tour, we will be challenged by mature, experienced international programs, which will continue to add to our growth."
The Owls return eight players from a year ago, including two returning starters - Danneal Ford and Kat Wright - and four more than drew between eight and 13 starts: Sasha Cedeno, Raven Doyle, Ra'Kyra Gabriel and Nika Zyryanova. Lewis-Jay is entering her fifth season atop the program, having qualified for the conference postseason tournament in each of her first four years.
One of the team's newcomers, freshman Jacey Bailey, is a native of British Columbia, coming to the Owls from her hometown of Burnaby.
"What an amazing opportunity for Jacey Bailey," said Lewis-Jay. "Her first game in a Florida Atlantic University uniform will be in her home country and hometown. I am thrilled that we were able to bring her home to play."
Stay tuned on FAUSports.com and on Twitter @FAUOwlAthletics for updates throughout the tour, along with the blog provided by the women's basketball team and staff.