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SAN DIEGO ROAD TRIPPIN FOR OUR FIRST TOURNAMENT

Hey there tennis fans!

Six of your lady lions including myself headed down to San Diego for the weekend to compete in our first tournament of the fall season. For most, it was the very first tournament of their collegiate careers, which is very exciting. I, however, was the lone veteran. I am glad that I came with all the new girls so I could give them some insight of what typically happens during trips. Eat, lots of tennis, a little free time, eat, sleep and repeat. It's hard to believe that I was that same curious freshmen not too long ago. My assistant coach, Ivan jokes that I'm a grandma now because I know the in's and outs of our team adventures having been on the team for the past two years.

Weekend tournaments out of town are always a blast because well for one, our full school week gets cut short, which sometimes can be good or bad if it's at the expense of missing an important class. It seems that all the new girls were really excited to get away from the LMU bubble for a little bit especially because we have been really sucked into that school grind for a solid month of getting full adjusted and finishing up our first round of midterms. San Diego came at a perfect time to escape all the chaos and compete our hearts out on the tennis court in the blistering San Diego heat. But seriously, it was hot out there!

            The tournament consisted of one singles and one doubles match each day for a total of 6 matches. Pre match jitters were all the rage, but hey it's natural! Especially coming into our very first tournament of the year! Eli and Jessica won two out of their three doubles matches this weekend with huge wins over our rivals, Pepperdine and SDSU! They showed fearless efforts, great chemistry and were aggressive up at net, which helped them overcome those big battles. Jessica also clinched a win in singles against one of our other conference rivals, USD. The rest of the crew faced some tough losses against some top teams with very high quality tennis throughout the weekend.


The girls were a little butt-hurt with their results, but with my two-year experience, I tried to brighten their spirits a little and sprinkle some words of wisdom their way.  I let them know how talented they are to play for such a highly competitive DI team in addition to balancing a heavy and rigorous workload at school.  It's incredibly difficult to play a long weekend of matches factoring in all the exteriors like adjusting to college life, being away from home (which to many means in a different country altogether) schoolwork and other things circling around. If it was so easy to do, than everyone would do it. It takes major talent to be a collegiate athlete and this is just the beginning of the road. This is why we're getting the experience in now early on in the preseason so we can know what we need to work on and grow from there. This tournament is a starting point, a foundation for the tennis ahead of us, and we are ready.

            On a separate note, I wanted to give out a personal shout out to our former teammate and No. 1 player and not to mention, the most disciplined and dedicated person I know, April Bisharat. She came to visit us last week at practice and we talked about her growing interest in journalism. In fact, she already caught the blog bug and it would mean so much if you can spread some lion love and check out her blog she just started. I am one of the first proud readers to take a gander, and I must admit that I was totally inspired! Check it out when you get a chance!

            This weekend, the Lions have a tournament in Long Beach, so wish us luck if you seem some ladies rocking LMU Women's Tennis gear around.

Have a great week! That's all for now!

Logan


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THE NOT SO PLEASANT RETURN OF 'MUNCHIE' THE SQUIRREL

           Our first full week of organized practice means the return of our dedicated No. 1 fan and team mascot, Munchie. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Munchie, he is a squirrel that has absolutely no boundaries when it comes to digging through our backpacks in hopes of finding something to munch on. He is a smart little cookie and always knows whenever we bring nuts to the court. He must have a great nuts scent tracker.

            This year, he has taken up his aggressive mentality immensely. He is constantly on the prowl. We have to literally pry him off our belongings about every 15 minutes which really disrupts our practice flow. This is not good considering we just completed week one. We may have to take drastic measures to stop his chaotic behavior. Miya, one of my teammates, suggested we invest in some squirrel repellent! (if there is such a thing...) I'm thinking we may have to hide our backpacks somewhere he can't find them or find another place to put them where he can't get to them. Despite Munchie's crazy antics, he really is our most loyal fan, (I mean he does come out to the courts everyday...) so we don't want get rid of him for good!

            Everyone's glad that we are all into a regular routine now. It's unfortunate this semester that classes conflict a lot of practice times so adjustments have been made to accommodate everyone's schedule so we can all get our practice sessions in even if a lot of us are in and out throughout the week. At least it makes us realize that we need to really maximize our time out on the court as much as we can. Our coaches, Jamie and Ivan always say it's always better to have a hard-core and intense shorter practice than a longer sometimes dragged out practice.

            Jamie has got us back on the UCAN shake grind again. He is a big believer of the UCAN program because it's a great pre and post workout drink that is low in sugar and provides all the necessary nutrients in order for us sustain our energy level throughout the day. Mardy Fish is a proud promoter of this program, which is another added benefit. Personally, after being on this program for the past two years, I am all for it and actually have really grown to like the flavors of the shakes. It's also really nice to have because a lot of the times, as college students, we are constantly on the go. So most of the time after an intense workout session, we won't have time to eat 30-45 minutes after (which is super important) because we will have class or meetings or other obligations. Taking the shake is so easy in that we just have to mix the powder with water and we are good to go!

            Coming up this weekend, we have our first tournament at San Diego State! There will be four players going so they will get a lot of good tennis in. We will keep you posted with how they do next week!

That's all for now!

Logan 

FITNESS TESTS FINALLY COMPLETE AND REGULAR PRACTICE REGIME BEGINS

Hey there tennis fans!

            After 3 weeks of dragged-out fitness testing, we are finally done! Having "dragged-out" testing wasn't too bad though because it allowed us to gear up for each one appropriately instead of them piling up on each other all at once. It also helped us all get settled and adjusted to our classes. After all, we are "student athletes!" The school component is an equally large part of our LMU experience. And we are so fortunate to attend such a prestigious university that really dedicates their time to helping students best prepare themselves for the real world. I'd say, we have it pretty good here!

            8 am bright and early Saturday morning was our beloved beep test part 2. Thankfully, this time around didn't get stopped mid-way through forcing us to postpone the test for a later date. Everyone gave it their all and looked great especially for first thing in the morning! That test is not just a physical endurance test, but it's such a mental challenge as well because we have to run a certain distance in a certain amount of time, and that time is altered each time, forcing us to run faster and faster. It's tough. But we feel so great after it's over!

            And finishing stong in our final test, it called for a little celebration. The full team has yet to have a big gathering as a big group because some of us miss each other in the weight room or on the courts due to classes. So it was nice to organize a team gathering for dinner at my house close to campus for some much needed bonding time! We also invited the guys tennis team to join as well so both teams could get to know each other better. I'd say it was a success!

            As we get into this week, we are officially on our regular practice regime! We start on a strength program in the weight training room three times a week with our strength trainer, Nick. Then we have pilates, spin and SAQ (speed and agility on the court) all once a week, and finally, organized tennis practices.

Our coach, Jamie, really values community service. So in addition to our training, we put together tennis clinics with children at the LMU Daycare center. We work with 4 and 5 year olds. It's a nice break and a little stress reliever from school and intensive practice hours to spend some time with the kids and who knows, maybe get them hooked us on this little game we call tennis. It has begun! Get ready to work Lady Lions! It's going to be a great season!

 

That's all for now!

Logan

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LMU WOMEN'S TENNIS RETURNS WITH A BANG FOR 2013-2014 SEASON

Hey there tennis fans!           

     My name is Logan Finnell, and I am a current junior on the LMU Women's Tennis Team. This is my second year serving as the team weekly blogger. I am so excited to start this up again as I am a devoted player of the game as well as a passionate and aspiring sports journalist. I have had a wonderful experience thus far in my college tennis career, and I love to show fellow athletes, fans, family members and peers just what it is like to be a college tennis player in addition to keeping everyone up to date with our tennis and team adventures on and off the court.

     Fall pre-season commences with fresh new faces with even fiercer games. Saying goodbye to former lions is never easy, (especially since you are used to spending copious amount of time together on and off the court), however life must go on and we must continue the traditions that were instilled in us as passionate players with tons of lion pride.

     We have welcomed 5 new additions to the team this year who hail from a variety of different locations ranging from Germany to Sweden to Russia to Oregon as well as a somewhat local spot of Newport Beach. Right off the bat, our team chemistry was strong and everyone is getting along and well acquainted into their new environment of collegiate tennis here at LMU.

      Transitioning into college is no cakewalk, not to mention becoming a member of a Division I sports team at such a high level. I definitely have been there, and sure I had my challenges! But I am really impressed to the see the team's enthusiasm and willingness to work hard and enjoy their early experience along the way. It also helps that the veterans of the team are showing the new ladies the ropes especially when it is necessary for an understanding to the shenanigans that we start the year off with....the dreaded fitness testing.

      All summer, we are given time to train and prepare for the series of fitness testing that happily welcomes us back to school. The testing features a timed 2 mile run, another running test called the "beep" test which challenges our mental and physical endurance as well as an agility test. The tests continue in the weight room where Nick Longo, our strength and conditioning coach checks in to see if we have been keeping up with our weight program we were assigned in the summer time. He even threw in a bench press test, which is new for the tennis team since we have never done it before, but Nick was confident in our strengths that we could handle it. And hey, he was right.

     Everyone challenged themselves to the best of their abilities, and it was evident that we impressed the big guy. Unfortunately our testing has dragged out a little longer than we hoped. We had a minor malfunction with the beep test last week and we must re-do it on Tuesday. Once that wraps up, the Lions will be ready to get into our regular practice routine and the weekend tournaments will start. 

    I hope you all had a wonderful summer and you are all getting excited to hear about your LMU Women's Tennis Team kick some lion butt this year!

That's all for now!

Logan

Part One
By Paul Blanchette

As I report to you from the San Jose airport, I look back at the days activities.  It all started with a long, early morning as we boarded the bus once again for an experience of a life time.  Today we visited a daycare for children that are in families that lie below the poverty line and they were all six years old or younger.  These children were amazing and filled with energy, loving life.  One of the girls even said "this is the best day of my life".  After the visit to the daycare we had a walking tour of down town San Jose.  Concluding our day of activities we were given some time to shop at a flee market, where there were all sorts of goodies to choses from.  This lead to the long track to the airport and painful goodbyes.  From LMU men's soccer we sign off for the last time in Costa Rica.  Pura Vida
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Part Two
By Sean Sears

Today was our last full day in Costa Rica. We spent most of the time travelling from San Carlos to San Jose. While a four hour drive might sound boring it was far from that. For those who do not know, our soccer team is obsessed with napping and will use any break period as an excuse to lay down and get some shut eye, even if only for minute. This was the only ride where almost our whole team stayed awake to enjoy the view of the valleys and the mountains as we winded our way through to San Jose. The view from the curvy rode was something that none of us wanted to sleep through.

We arrived in San Jose with only a couple hours to spare before the game against Saprissa. We got our legs up and prepared for what we expected to be our most competitive game. Our expectations of Saprissa were spot on because for most of the first half they dominated possession and scoring opportunities. We were able to score a goal on a set piece and went into halftime with a 1-0 lead. We ended up conceding 3 goals in the second half and lost the game to a team that was better than us. While were all disappointed in the loss, it was very unreal to play in an actual stadium and we all appreciated the experience. The Saprissa players were all very fun and nice kids and I think they appreciated the experience of playing against us as much as we did playing against them. 

Part Three

By Jackson Criswell

Today is our final day in Costa Rica.  After a late breakfast, we took our last bus trip to a center for under-priveledged children in San Jose. Most of the children were from single mother or abusive households. The children lived at the center for a cost of $300 a month, paid for by donors from the United States or Canada. With their faces and hands pressed against the window, we were greeted with huge cheers.  s we walked in with LMU t-shirts in hand, we were mobbed by kids aged 1-8.  Captain Craig Nitti was a fan favorite, with a dozen kids rushing to his legs within seconds. After an hour of chasing, dancing, basketball and piggyback rides, we left the kids and the center for the second part of our day; the walking tour of San Jose. In the tour, Emilio walked us through the iconic buildings in the capital. He explained Costa Rican history ranging from their civil war in 1948, to their government system modeled after the United States. We concluded the tour at a local flee market, where we shopped through stalls containing everything from hammocks to bamboo knives. Boarding the bus marked the end of the most rewarding day of our adventure.  It was finally time to say goodbye to Costa Rica, and pura vida!

By Vince Paldino

Day eleven. After zip lining, today was a much more relaxed day. First we woke up and had breakfast before leaving San Carlos. Our next destination was the country's capital, San Jose. Throughout the entire trip I have been waiting to travel to San Jose because it is the country's capital and is much more crowded than the previous cities we have stayed in. However, we had to take a long bus ride which turned out not to be to bad because almost everyone fell asleep on the bus. When we arrived to our new hotel I couldn't believe how nice it was. I felt like I was traveling with a professional team because of the way everyone was treating us. After the long bus ride, my stomach was starving and lunch couldn't have came at a better time. I had salad, fish and chicken. The food hit the spot. After lunch, everyone went back to their rooms and rested for the big game. We played against the most known team from Costa Rica, Saprissa. Whenever someone thinks about Costa Rican soccer, they think about Saprissa and how good they are. We not only got to play against their team, we also got to play in their beautiful stadium. Although we ended up losing the game, I will never forget that feeling when I took my first step on to the turf field. We played very well, but towards the end of the game we became fatigued and Saprissa took advantage. Once the final whistle blew, we gathered together and took pictures with the other team. They were really nice and welcoming. Hopefully one day I playing in a stadium like theirs. When we got back to the hotel everyone was tired from the game and decided to take it easy tonight especially because we have community service tomorrow and want to save our energy for the little kids. I can't wait to hang out with the children tomorrow and put a smile on their faces. With that said, Costa Rica has been a life changing experience and something that I will talk about for the rest of my life.
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Part One

By Ryan Felix


The day began early with the usual breakfast at the Tilajari Resort, consisting of rice, beans, potatoes, French toast, and an assortment of fruit. We boarded the bus around 8 A.M. and took off to go zip lining near the Arenal Volcano. Upon arriving, we hiked up to the main area and were quickly in our gear. A gondola took us up near the top of the mountain that we would soon be zip lining across. The view from the top was incredible. Looking down from the mountain we could see a huge lake which, using a hydroelectric dam, generates roughly 60 percent of the electricity in Costa Rica. We could also see the volcano, which was very steep, but the most shocking scenery for most of us was the view of the third zip line across a huge valley, over a thousand feet up in the air. Although most of us were very excited about the zip lining, there was an overlying feeling of nervousness and anxiety among the group, especially upon the viewing of this third zip line. Nevertheless, we all strapped up (everyone except Vince), and began our descent down the mountain on the zip lines. The first two were very short and helped us become accustomed to the technique of breaking when we arrived at the platform at the end of the line. Then, it was time to take on the third zip line. I was extremely excited to go and see the amazing view of the lake, the volcano, and the canopy of the rainforest below me while flying through the air. The journey across the valley was exhilarating to say the least. Flying through the air, getting whipped in the face with raindrops and getting to see such an amazing view was an unbelievable experience. We continued down a few more zip lines and eventually traveled down a zip line roughly a third of a mile long. When we all finished, we ate lunch at the main area again and then took off for La Fortuna Waterfall. Although it was not my first time zip lining, it was an amazing experience that I will never forget.

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Looking Good Erush


Part Two

By John McFarlin


After our adrenaline filled morning, it was time to head for our last adventure in the Costa Rican Rainforest. I, like many of my teammates, took advantage of the one hour bus ride by taking a quick nap. We eventually arrived at the foot of a trail that would lead to the La Fortuna Waterfall. It was a tricky hike as we descended countless stairs, but the pay off was well worth it. We were all amazed at the massive size of this fall and the power of the water. Everyone got in  and took turns trying to swim towards the waterfall as it pushed us back, with Jack McCracken, Mark Dotseth, Craig Nitti and Dylan Seedman giving the most valiant attempts. There was also a cool river running down where I enjoyed trying to catch fish with Cameron Krumpe as Coach Paul Krumpe watched on with amusement at our numerous failures. We found the climb back up the stairs to be quite the workout after last night's game, but experiencing this natural wonder was awesome.

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Paul Blanchette in front of La Fortuna Waterfall


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Alex Lam and Bryce Bacic exploring the river


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Vince Paldino and Peter Velazquez taking in the sights


After dinner it was time for a soccer tennis tournament on an indoor court at our hotel. As always, competition heated up right from the first game. As teams got eliminated, the crowd grew and the atmosphere became more of a factor. In the end, Mackenzie Kim, Sebastian De Rada, Cameron Krumpe and Craig Nitti were left standing as the championship team.


Pura Vida.

Part One

By Aaron Garfinkel


Today marked the ninth day of our travels in the country of Costa Rica.  Our day started bright and early with a 6:30am breakfast filled with delicious fruits, eggs, kielbasa, and pancakes.  By 7:00am, we embarked on our Safari adventure down the Penas Blancas River.  As we floated down the river, we came into contact with different animals including birds, iguanas, and howler monkeys.  The howler monkeys were by far everyone's favorite.  A family of about 15 monkeys was located in trees that were about thirty feet above us so we had an awesome view of them.  At the end of the safari, we enjoyed a mid-morning snack at a local home located on the river.  We were served homemade juice, baked bananas, and wonderful potato bread.  This was our first true experience with homemade Costa Rican food and it did not disappoint.  After finishing our snack, we headed back towards our hotel for the rest of the afternoon in order to prepare for our third match later that night.

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After a relaxing afternoon, we headed to the city of San Carlos to play the first division side.  As we entered the stadium, it began pouring rain with thunder and lightning looming off in the distance.  As a soccer player, the opportunity to play in a setting such as this is a dream come true.  While we enjoyed the pregame warm-up, we knew that our opponent was going to pose the toughest challenge that we have seen thus far.   While our assumptions about the team from San Carlos were correct, we wasted no time in facing the challenge.  The opening whistle blew and we immediately charged down field.  Our very own Ryan Felix served in a beautiful cross from the left side of the pitch which met the head of Sebastian De Rada for our first goal of the match.  Moments later, we earned a corner.  De Rada served in a ball to the middle of the box and Seany Sears was there to head the ball home for a 2-0 lead inside the first ten minutes.  This definitely stunned our opponent.  They became very aggressive and frustrated the rest of the half but we made it out alive without conceding any goals.  The second half started and the LMU defense stood strong and prevented any solid opportunities.  As the half progressed, the referee became whistle-happy against us, throwing out many yellow cards before finally sending off one of our players for arguing about a questionable call.  We did not let this affect our play and determination.  About ten minutes after the red card, De Rada unloaded a shot from about 25 yards out that slipped through the goalie's hands into the top corner.  This sealed the deal with a 3-0 victory over a very solid opponent. 

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This game was vital for our confidence, morale, and success for next fall.  We all went to bed that night feeling extremely proud to be a lion and looking forward to the last few days in this beautiful country!


Part Two

By Jack McCracken


In the morning we went on a safari boat tour where we were able to see unique birds of Costa Rica and Howler monkeys.  It was a great time but the real highlight of the day was our game against San Carlos.  They had an awesome stadium and we took advantage of it early on.  We scored a goal in the first minutes of the game.  We scored another goal to take a 2-0 lead and then towards the end of the half goalkeeper Billy Thompson saved a penalty kick to give us momentum going into the second half.  The game ended 3-0 and it was a great result for our team especially since the referees were clearly unfair.  We look forward to bringing this intensity into our final game in Costa Rica and carrying this momentum into our fall season.  

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Part Three

By Mackenzie Kim


Today the LMU Men's Soccer team experienced both sides of the intensity spectrum. The day started especially early, where the team was on the road at 7am, bags packed and stomachs full from the scrumptious breakfast buffet. Getting an early start to the day is a common habit that the individuals in our host country perform, so that they can get to their work promptly and efficiently. However, we had a different activity planned. The team spent the morning on safari, a safari not like the ones you probably automatically assume, but a water safari. We were split up into groups of seven, and were placed into water rafts, just like the white water rafts from earlier in the week. The reason why our dreams were interrupted particularly early was because it provided a greater chance for us to see more wildlife, as most of the organisms protruded from their dwellings early in the morning. The safari was both peaceful and stimulating. The guides shared stories and made sure to point out any animal that caught their eyes. We were able to see Howler Monkeys, lizards, cranes, iguanas, and much more. The team finished the morning with homemade juice and snacks. Since it was scheduled that we were to play later that day, the majority of the afternoon was spent resting, with our legs up, so that we would be ready to perform that evening. The team we played was San Carlos and their stadium was close to an hour away from the hotel. All of the elements were against us that night, as it thundered and poured for a majority of the game. However, the LMU squad was able to overcome the adversities and finish with a strong 3-0 win over the opposing side. The boys fought hard and played very well. After drying and getting warm, the team grabbed dinner and got into bed to be rested for the next day to come.

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By Connor Hunsicker

Today the squad took off from our new hotel and started towards our newest Costa Rican adventure, white-water rafting.  We were on the road for about twenty minutes before we made a quick detour to check out an iguana hotspot.  Not really knowing what to expect we made our way over to where they were at.  Wow, there were a lot of them.  We spent about ten minutes taking pictures and watching what seemed to be like over 100 reptiles crawl and lounge in the trees and shade.  Coach Krumpe called us back onto the bus and we were off to San Carlos. 

About an hour and half later we had reached our destination.  The town is most known for its exportation of pineapples and other fruits which have significantly increased over the last ten years.  Finally, we made our way down to the river and met our tour guides and started to gear up.  Dressed to impress in our helmets and life-jackets, we listened to some safety instructions from the guide.  I won't name names, but it was obvious that some of the boys were a little nervous after hearing all the possible scenarios.  And with that, we were off.

 I jumped into a boat with Dylan, John, Jack, Bryce and Flores with our tour guide being Luis, which we changed to Louie.  We started down the river after about five minutes of practicing paddling in sync together and learning the verbal commands.  Soaking in all of the surroundings, we went down the first rapid and it definitely woke up anyone who was still a little groggy from their bus ride nap.  The adventure had begun.  At one point we all just looked at each other and no words even had to be spoken, we were in heaven.  It doesn't get much better than this.  Louie made the trip down the river that much more enjoyable.  He was eager to answer our questions about the country and express his favorite spots along the river.  His english was surprisingly good and he was quite the comedian.  We took a break about thirty minutes in to enjoy some freshly sliced watermelon and pineapple.  While the guides were dicing our snack, we were allowed to do some cliff jumping into the river. 

Coach Mennel displayed a dominating performance in the splash competition.  Krumpe looked like he was back in his prime with a well executed front flip.  After everyone got there fair share of jumps in our guides were calling us back over.  We scarfed down the fruit, which might have been the best we've had all trip and we were told to get back on our rafts.  At first I couldn't find Louie and started to worry a little bit only to find him all the way across the river with a big smile on his face.  I guess our group was going to get some extra swimming in.  Everyone made their way across the current and finally got back in the raft.  Once all in, we started back down the river.  Louie would start us off with a "Forward boys" and count out our strokes with a deep "One, Two, One, Two".  Pretty remarkable to see how everything we have done this trip requires us to work together. 

Today was an excellent example of how we needed timing and execution to prevent our teammates and ourselves from falling into the water.  An exhausting two hours later, we had made it to lunch and everyone was starving.  Shoulders tired and worn out from the hot Costa Rican sun, we couldn't have been more happy to receive our plates of either chicken or beef, with rice and beans as our sides.  Full and content, there was only one thing on my mind.  Get back to the bus and take a nice nap.  Once we stopped, I was woken up by my captain Seany Sears, and Coach Krumpe informed us we were going to have an inter-squad 11 vs. 11 match at practice.  We had about two hours before training and apparently my nap on the bus wasn't sufficient because I was woken up about fifteen minutes before training. 

Our hotel is massive and literally has everything you could every want including a full-size soccer field, which is by far the best surface we've played on.  We had a very intense practice and looked very sharp.  The MVP of practice would have to be go to my dear friend, Aaron Garfinkle.  During our pre-training stretching, he happened to lay down straight onto an ant farm and was immediately covered in hundreds of ants.  Unlucky for Aaron, but the rest of the team got a good laugh out of the situation before we began.  After training we had a team stretch in the hotel pool and headed back to our rooms to shower before dinner.  It is hard to believe that this trip is coming to end and we can't stay here the rest of summer.  Our team is coming together more and more everyday and the anticipation for the fall is almost too much.  I am just trying to enjoy every second of the day with a group of guys I would gladly do anything for.  Pura Vida!

Part One

By Mark Dodseth


After a quick and final breakfast at our Punta Leona hotel we packed up and traveled north. We first made a quick stop at a bridge well known for crocodiles. While signage suggested otherwise, food was bought from locals on the bridge thrown down to the crocodiles to watch them eat. 


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A picture from the bridge looking down


Our afternoon destination for the day was the Baldi hot springs, which was one of the most unique places I have ever experienced. As you proceeded up the mountain the springs increased in temperature, culminating at a rock tower a few stories tall that poured water from the top. Many of the pools cascaded from one to the next. They had even created a sauna by closing off a room that looked like a cave and allowed the hot water to pour through it. On the way to the top there was a set of slides, which may have had a difficult time passing American regulations. While the most extreme of the slides was enclosed, a sharp turn and drop left you airborne and coming into the water from the side of the slide leaving a face of shock from anyone who popped out of the water after the exhilarating ride.  


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Photo of Baldi Springs (Taken by Sebastian DeRada)

 

After a short 40 minute drive we arrived at our newest home, a hotel in the jungle. At night it is difficult to see the exact nature of the hotel except that we are surrounded by trees With troublesome wifi connection in the rooms, it seemed as though a team meeting had been called as the majority of the team gathered in a wifi hotspot shortly after reaching the hotel to check up on the outside world.


Part Two

By Pedro Velazquez


After a free night that turned out to be great for team bonding, we had to wake up the earliest in this trip. This was because we had to pack up for our next ride to San Carlos. About ten minutes in the bus we stopped at the crocodile bridge. There were about fifteen to twenty crocodiles in and outside the muddy water. There was a sign at the beginning of the bridge that said to not feed the crocodiles but Captain Craig thought it was a good idea to throw some meat so the crocodiles would fight for it. I don't know why he would even think about that but he did. After being at the bridge for about twenty minutes taking pictures of the crocodiles, we were suddenly back on the bus and up for another stop for lunch. We stopped at a place about 15 minutes to the hot springs. We ate and quickly scoped the town for a while. When we arrived to the hot springs, the whole team went to the slides. Everyone was having a good time and some decided to try different types of ways to go down the slides. One example was Michael Erush who went head first on the fastest slide there was. He ate it really bad and was complaining about his back for too long.

 

The pools went from being cold in the bottom to really hot at the top of the peak. We were at the pools for about three hours and most of us were really over it. We were hungry and dinner was not until seven. We were patiently waiting for dinner while watching the Costa Rican soccer championship game. When it was finally time for dinner the whole team went up to the buffet. After dinner we left for our hotel and received our keys. Finding out that there was no Wi-Fi or channels in our rooms was low blow!


Part Three

By Leon Prikhodovskiy


Today we left Punta Leona and were headed for La fortuna. One the way we stopped by a local bridge where crocodiles hung out. Craig Nitti bought some meat to toss down there and we all watched the crocodiles devour the meat. We then went to the hot springs where we swam in different pools of increasing temperatures. Overall the day was  pretty relaxing.

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