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The women's volleyball team learned a valuable lesson about appreciating the little things during their fall season. They went to Costa Rica in August for a missions trip with two other American college teams and returned home with a different perspective.

"We thought we needed a bigger and better gym before we left," said senior Tracey Afman, "but we love our gym now. We're used to having certain things, but we had to make an adjustment while we were there. We take so many little things for granted, but now we're more thankful for what we have."

Little things like wood floors and ice bags that most athletes in the United States don't think twice about are luxuries in Costa Rica. The women played on concrete during their visit, and nursing their injuries proved difficult due to a scarce supply of ice.

While there, coach Sue Gasperec took her team to an orphanage and a daycare center. The players conducted informal clinics for the children, and spent time reading and playing games with them. They also helped distribute more than 1000 tracts to native Costa Ricans, and 45 people were converted to Christianity.

"This was a great learning experience for us," Gasperec said. "We encountered some situations and circumstances that weren't very favorable, but the ladies grew closer to one another, and that kind of bonding is always good.

"The landscape was magnificent with all the mountains and rainforests surrounding us. It was pretty amazing to admire God's creation, and we really enjoyed our time with the kids there. I think our trip reminded us of how much grace the Lord has granted us."

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