October 14, 2001

Read Merrin Thompson's Diary

Day One - Thursday, October 11

At 5p.m. we met in the parking structure to leave for the airport. We were all very upset that we were missing the new episode of "Friends", but we found some comfort in the fact that we would be able to see the episode on tape the next day in our hotel. After waiting for an hour delay at the airport to come to an end, we finally boarded on the plane to LA and arrived just before 10p.m. The security measures taken in the Southern California Airport were far more rigid than anything that we had experienced in San Jose. The only way to enter or leave the airport was by shuttle, bus or taxi. We found our airport shuttle and headed to the Crown Plaza. Once in our rooms at the hotel, most of us crawled into bed in an attempt to get a good rest for our big game against LMU the next day.

Day Two - Friday, October 12

We woke up at 10 a.m. and met for breakfast shortly thereafter in a small restaurant across the street. To my dismay, they ran out of pancakes, hash browns and basically anything else I had been craving for breakfast. Most of us ended up settling for cereal and bagels. We met in Jon's room for film at noon. We watched LMU play Pepperdine on tape and analyzed all of the Lions' weaknesses. Feeling confident about the match, we went back to our rooms and either watched TV or slept to kill time before lunch. At 2:30 we went to lunch at the Soup Plantation, a restaurant very similar to Fresh Choice. Earlier this season our team had a bad experience at the "buffet style" restaurant eating way too much before our big game against UCSB. We ended up winning that match anyway, but we made sure we limited the food intake this time around, despite the wide array of dessert options at our disposal. Finally, it was time to start preparing for our match. We drove to LMU around 4:45 p.m. (earlier for the injured teammates) and had a pass-around from 5-5:30 p.m. to get used to the court and the new environment. After a pre-game talk from our coaches we took the floor at 6:15 for our official warm-up. The game went according to plan and we put them away in three straight games. After the match, most of the team went out to eat with their families that came to watch and the rest of the team (including myself) went to Islands restaurant with one of our favorite alumni, Laura Echolds. We were all back at the hotel at 10:30 p.m. and relaxed in our rooms until we went to sleep.

Day Three - Saturday, October 13

Saturday morning we met for breakfast in the lobby at 10:30 a.m. and enjoyed a marvelous breakfast at IHOP. The afternoon was much of the same with film on Pepperdine in Jon's room again. Shortly after, we were able to watch the "Friends" episode we had missed on Thursday, so we were a happy bunch of girls. On our way to Malibu, we stopped in at the Jonathan Club and had lunch on the beach. Jami Bari's grandparents were members and were nice enough to have us for the afternoon. Chrissy, Cindy and I (also known as the munchkins on our team) had a little pow-wow down by the water, thoroughly enjoying our time in the sand. When we were leaving the club, our assistant coach Katy handed us the pass list for our game that night. Among her guests, was Gabrielle Reece. We liked to think that she was coming to watch us play, but she was really coming to see Katy coach. We found out that the two of them used to play beach together and were old friends. It was still exciting nevertheless. We arrived at Pepperdine just before 5 p.m. again and our game started at 7 p.m. Unfortunately we had a rough start, losing the first two games. We came out in game three as a whole new team and took the third game from them. The fourth game was a battle, but Pepperdine managed to come out on top, winning by a mere 2 points (31-29) to close out the match 3-1. Although we were all disappointed with the way we began the match, we gave the last two games everything we had. Besides, it's all over for the Waves when they come to play the Broncos at home early next month during Senior Weekend. We drove back to the hotel and packed for our early flight home the next morning.

Day Four - Sunday, October 14

We met in the hotel lobby at 6:30 a.m. to leave for the airport. As we pulled up, we noticed a line backed up all the way down the terminal. Of course it was the line we needed to be in. After several attempts to cut, somehow a United employee led us to the front of the line and allowed us to do group check-in. I have never been so happy in my life. After physically giving it everything the night before in the game and only sleeping for 6 hours, I think most of us would have fallen asleep in line. Everything else went smoothly with the exception of a little warning from Becky Biniek. She had heard that the Taliban had warned the U.S. not to fly the day of our flight. This was a little disturbing to hear just before we were boarding, but I think our team has become accustomed to dealing with flying during such a frightening time after flights to Hawaii and San Diego in the last few weeks. Overall, we all had a fun weekend in SoCal. Although there is one part of it I would change, I think our team got better this weekend and that we'll be ready to take it out on UOP this Tuesday night.