By Mel Greenberg @womhoopsguru
PHILADELPHIA –Though it may seem like it, the women’s sports
teams in the Temple athletic department are not having a contest to see who has
the worst travel experience on road trips.
Several weeks ago the Owls women’s gym team spent more than
24 hours stranded on their bus on a western portion of the Pennsylvania Turnpike
that became stuck in snow during the recent deluge that struck the Eastern part
of the country.
The gymnasts, who suffered no ill effects from the ordeal,
had to cancel their participation in a meet in Pittsburgh.
Then a weekend later it became the women’s basketball team’s
turn to undergo aggravation that was unrelated to weather but involved 14-hours
travel each way to play at East Carolina where they still managed to get to
their destination and add another victory on their American Athletic Conference
portion of the season’s schedule.
Lauren Ferrett, the university’s media
liaison for the squad, provided the Guru with details and he obtained
permission to reprint her play by play of the ordeal, which now follows
On the way down, the (American
Airlines) flight from PHL to Charlotte, got to Charlotte but then … Delay,
delay, delay, finally canceled.
So then we looked for other flights,
charters, and buses, (also looked for other places to practice but no luck), so
we finally got a bus, and then drove to Greenville (switching buses and drivers
On the way back, we were supposed to
have a direct flight from Raleigh-Durham at 8:30, but
American changed it to a layover in Charlotte and a 7:45 flight.
After the game (no one showered,
we just booked it out of there), we got to Raleigh just in time for the flight,
and made it to Charlotte.
Once in Charlotte, they told us the
plane was in the hanger and once it arrived to the gate they would clean it and
get a crew on board.
So instead of leaving at 9:55, we kept getting delayed and delayed and then they change the gate to
clear across the airport.
So we got there and then the crew showed
up, the plane was there, and then all of a sudden the screen said our departure
time is now 2:30 AM, it had been originally changed to 12:30 AM, so we were shocked.
The AA people said it was wrong and
they would find out why it said that, and then a few minutes later, they said
we were cancelled.
off to a local hotel for a "nap", got there at 1 a.m. and then had to be at
the airport at
Finally, we got on our flight and after a
lengthy baggage delay, got to Temple around 48 hours after we left. 28 hours of
"travel," no practice, little sleep, but got that important
in the year coach Tonya Cardoza had much to complain about her young team’s
travel on the court contributing to a large amount of turnovers.
asked about the experience after Wednesday’s matinee in the Liacouras Center in
which the Owls dominated SMU, Cardoza had much praise about the way her players
handled travel of a different sort.
felt our team was really mature in how they handled it,” Cardoza said. “They
did not complain. Not one bit.
travel 14 hours to get there and once we got to the gym, we had to sit around
and wait because of the double overtime (in the men’s game), and, again, they
did not complain.
commended them on it. Because they could
have easily made excuses or why this or why that, but it just shows a bunch of
guys that are maturing. There’s a job in front of you and it doesn’t matter.
didn’t eat right. We were eating in the airport. Nobody became angry that we
were choosing that. We tried to focus on, `OK, it doesn’t matter the situation,
we have still have a game. Let’s go play the basketball game.
sat in the airport. We had a film session. We thought about even going over to
Charlotte and practicing there – I told them I was going to make them run up
and down in the terminal,” Cardoza added with a grin, “but again, things happen
and you can’t let things get the best of you and then get a letdown but I
thought they were really mature how they handled it and they handled it well.”
up is visit Saturday at 2 p.m. also in the Liacouras Center, from
nationally-ranked South Florida, the best team in the conference not named
UConn, who sits just ahead of the Owls in the standings.
upset by Temple allows whispers of a potential trip to the NCAA, though at the
moment since the Huskies and Bulls are likely to go, a third place finish at
worst allows the Owls to land a bid to the WNIT, where they went to the Final
Four last year and were just a few plays short of making it to the
game will be televised on ESPN3 with Dave Leno on the call along with Steffi