Eleven of the Fighting Irish traveled from snowy, cold and cloudy South Bend to the warmth and sunshine of California for 10 days. Starting in southern California, the Irish fell to Cal State University San Bernardino 7 – 10. After being down by only one after the first quarter, CSUSB pulled away in the second quarter and maintained the three goal lead for the remainder of the game.
The Fighting Irish continued on to Laguna Beach where they spent three days practicing at the JSerra High School Pool. One day at practice, Coughlin found a bucket of medicine balls and got creative. The theme of that practice was most certainly building a strong base with strong legs. The Irish made an appearance at St. Catherine of Siena School’s morning assembly, participating in prayer, song and introductions to the school.
The team continued up to San Luis Obispo where not only did they scrimmage Cal Poly SLO, but also where the annual Margie’s Pancake Challenge commensed. For those who do not know, Margie’s Pancake Challenge was created by members of the women’s water polo team on a bet with Coughlin they could finish a ginormous stack of pancakes. They lost said bet but the challenge has prevailed year after year, whereby the newest members to the spring break trip are “highly suggested” to participate by their fellow team members. Coughlin always says they do not have to do this, but this year’s team jokingly stated, “It’d be #socialexile”. This year’s participants were sophomore Danielle Butler and freshman Caley Martinez. Less than halfway through the stack, the light in Danielle’s eyes began to fade as each bite felt like only a miniscule dent. Caley took on the strategy of distracting her brain from feeling any sort of stomach ache by listening to music or watching videos on her phone. In the end, Caley finished her stack in approximately one hour and fifteen minutes!
That evening (yes, that evening, following the pancake challenge), the team won the scrimmage against Cal Poly 6 – 5, followed by going 4 for 5 rounds of man-up and defending 3 for 5 rounds of being man-down post scrimmage. With still plenty of fans, the Irish continued on to play UC Santa Cruz, defeating them in a scrimmage 13 – 4.
The Irish continued onto their final destination near Los Altos, outside San Francisco, where they participated at the Foothill College Invitational. The Irish went 2 – 2 on the weekend, losing to UC Davis A and Foothill on Saturday, but beating UC Davis B and Chico State on Sunday. After a long and hard week of practices, games, and traveling, the Irish headed back to the Midwest late Sunday night, getting back to campus in the wee hours of early Monday morning.
Thank you to all of our fans, family and friends that made it out to our games throughout the week and for the extreme generosity shown to the team! We would not have been able to have such a successful week without your support!