April 4, 2014
VILLANOVA, Pa. - "For the past few years, Villanova Athletics & the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) has hosted Student-Athlete Week in conjunction with National Student-Athlete Day. It's an opportunity for all of us to celebrate the hard-work, dedication and success of our student-athletes," according to Coordinator of Student Services, Allison Venella.
Friday's events, including the Men's Lacrosse (4-5, 2-0 BIG EAST) contest against No. 6 Denver (8-2, 2-0 BIG EAST) at 7 p.m. marks the beginning of Villanova Athletics Student-Athlete Week. This is the first of many events from April 4-11 that @VUSAAC will host and be considered "Athlete4Athletes" games, encouraging all student-athletes to show support and cheer on their fellow Wildcats.
The week will focus on Villanova's student-athlete accomplishments, both on and off the playing field, as well as the spirit of competition. Student-Athlete Week gives the Athletics Department an opportunity to thank the student-athletes for their time and commitment to the University. Student-Athlete Week has quickly become a fun tradition, one the student-athletes look forward to each year.
Villanova Student-Athlete week emphasizes five main components: Awareness, Community, Education, Service and Fun.
For the Awareness, Community and Education component, @VUSAAC is highlighting the home competitions hosted at Villanova and encouraging all student-athletes to support one another as a part of the SAAC Athletes4Athletes initiative. Student admission is free for all events.
"Student-Athlete week is a great event because it recognizes the hard work and effort that Villanova's student-athletes put in on the playing field," men's tennis captain Thomas O'Brien said. "As a student-athlete, it's refreshing and rewarding to feel the bond that you have with other student-athletes throughout the university and the support we have been given."
NovaNation has the opportunity to cheer on their baseball team (8-17) as they open conference play with three games against St. John's (16-11) over the weekend. First pitch on Friday, Saturday and Sunday is slated for 3:15 p.m. at the Ballpark in Plymouth Meeting.
Women's Tennis (3-8) is hosting a trio of matches against some familiar foes throughout the weekend. On Friday, the Wildcats take on California (Pa.) at 2 p.m. The next morning, Villanova will look to even its conference record when they battle Providence at 11 a.m.
On Sunday both the Men's (2-13) and Women's Tennis teams are hosting former conference rival UConn on Sunday (11 a.m.) at the Villanova Tennis Complex located on West Campus.
The service opportunity includes a partnership with Villanova's Head Football Coach Andy Talley's Bone Marrow Foundation and Bone Marrow Registry Drive. On Thursday, April 10, from 10am-3pm, all student-athletes are invited to stop by the Villanova Room in the Connelly Center to register with the National Bone Marrow Foundation as a potential life-saving donor and get in the game to save a life!
The fun events planned, include the 2nd Annual Student-Athlete Week Breakfast, which will be hosted on Wednesday, April 9 from 8-10am on the Jake Nevin Stage. All student-athletes are encouraged to stop by for breakfast treats!
Student-Athlete Week will conclude with an Ice Cream Social at the April 11th (Friday) Women's Lacrosse Game versus Cincinnati set for 4 p.m.. All student-athletes are welcome to attend for free ice cream!
Remember to follow @VUSAAC on twitter for up-to-date information on SAAC Student-Athlete Week 2014.
Quotes from current Student-Athletes
"It's great to see fellow student-athletes coming out to support our teams. We try to help cheer on and watch each other's games. Since this is an important conference matchup for us, having the support of the other student-athletes is wonderful that will help bring us an advantage." - Men's Lacrosse senior captain John LoCascio
"It's great to look out into the stands and see groups of other student-athletes at our games. We can not only cheer for one another but we are able to learn about each other's sports and encourage others to come to games. We all go through the same struggles and it's wonderful to be able to have a week to recognize and support each other. It's a great opportunity to promote all of the spring sports and encourage those who have fewer fans. We are all part of the athletic community and we are each other's greatest support system." - Women's Lacrosse senior captain Julia Todd
"When you see the other student-athletes come to watch your matches or games, it's not the nice feeling that someone is watching, but it's a feeling of pride and respect that other athletes have for you. The bond between athletes is formed through the acknowledgement of knowing the hard work and dedication that is needed to be successful both on the court and in the classroom. It is an added boost and motivation when you see other athletes come to support you. You naturally have the desire to dig deep and pull out a win, which in the end is the ultimate goal." - Men's Tennis senior captain Thomas O'Brien
"I think student-athlete week is a great week where we can all appreciate the time and effort that the other athletes put into their sports. A lot of people don't understand the time that we all dedicate to our respective sports and it's really great that we have a week to celebrate all of our teams." - Women's Tennis senior captain Mikelle Mancini