BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – On the court, IU and Florida Gulf Coast volleyball teams are competitors, but following Hurricane Irma’s damage, the Bloomington team extended some Hoosier hospitality.
Soon after competing in a tournament in North Carolina, FGCU’s team couldn't return home because of the hurricane’s impact, so they arrived at IU three days before their scheduled game.
The last-minute decision wasn’t in the team’s budget, so IU arranged and paid for hotel accommodations.
"They've helped us with meals, they’ve helped coordinate those meals. They’ve helped with uniforms, laundry and helped us try to maintain some sort of normalcy,” said FGCU head coach Matt Botsford.
The team was able to practice and use workout facilities at IU.
Despite the kind gesture, FGCU team members continued to deal with their own problems from back home. Sharonda Pickering, from British Virgin Islands, said her house was severely damaged.
"Only one bedroom and one bathroom still have the roof...they don’t know when they’ll have infrastructure to put back on the roof,” said Pickering.
The FGCU team said they’re thankful for the hospitality.
"It's been incredible,” said Amanda Carroll of FGCU. “Everyone is so nice. I can't thank them enough. Our team can't thank them enough. It's been great.”
FGCU is scheduled to play IU Saturday before returning to Florida.
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