california round 3

This past weekend marked our third annual trip to California to compete in the Stanford Invite tournament. My team approached this season with the goal of making finals in every tournament we attend, and this was our first chance to meet that target.

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In keeping with tradition, the weekend began with a trip to In-N-Out.

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Moments after this photo was taken, a torrential downpour began, and we were left to huddle under the small umbrella and finish eating. The food was delicious but the weather left something to be desired.

As we, three teammates and I, took an early flight out of Vancouver, we were left to find out own way to the hotel. This, in typical tournament fashion, was a complicated affair; we ended up taking two buses, a train, and, for the first time, an Uber. The rain was unrelenting, and we arrived hours later drenched from head to toe.

Now, living in the Northwest and playing an outdoor sport means that I’ve experienced my fair share of games played in inclement weather. The excitement of travelling to California is in no small part because of the typical promise of sunny skies and warm conditions. Saturday was just the opposite. It was the same rain as the day before, coupled with 35-50 km winds. Needless to say, our games were difficult.

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We went 3-1 though and were rewarded by sun on Sunday (how fitting). It was beautiful, hot, and barely windy – exactly what we wanted.

Our preseason goal was to make finals of every tournament, and we had to get past the University of Central Florida in order to achieve that. Unfortunately, despite a strong push that saw us come back from a 7-2 deficit to within one point, we weren’t able to beat them.

Frustrated and disappointed, that set us up for a third place game against the University of Oregon – they handed us our only other loss of the weekend on Saturday, 11-10. In my three years, I’ve probably played Oregon more than any other team, and they usually get the better of us – not this time.

I may be biased, but I’m pretty sure we have the best rookies in the league. They played absolutely amazing this weekend, especially in this last game. I was sidelined with an injury, but I still had so much fun watching. We ended up winning that game 15-8 – our largest margin against Oregon – and it was in no small part thanks to our first years.

Not making finals was disappointing but that last game definitely made up for it.

Oh, and the second trip to In-N-Out…

 

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