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Thursday, October 28, 2021

Column: Camp Beat Fullerton

Let me lay some history on you to start this off.

Flashback to Mar. 5, 2008. UC Davis and UC Riverside’s women’s basketball teams were in a virtual tie in the Big West Conference standings. Only a head-to-head contest at the Pavilion between the two teams remained on the Aggies’ schedule.

On the line was the coveted No. 2 seed and the two-round bye in the league tournament that came with it.

Celebrated former sports editors Michael Gehlken and Adam Loberstein basically decided people should care that a win over Riverside would put our women’s team two games away from the NCAA Tournament.

At other schools, they said, you actually need to sleep outside the night before if you want to guarantee your admittance to big home games. While that might not be the case at UC Davis just yet, there’s no reason not to show the same enthusiasm here.

So they came up with a plan for Camp Beat Riverside. The third-annual campout (we slept outside before last year’s men’s soccer game against UC Santa Barbara) will take place Friday night in front of the Pavilion. Arrive around 10 p.m.

As for Gehlken and Loberstein’s three-part plan, it goes as follows:

Step 1: Call coach Sandy Simpson.

“Hey Sandy,” Gehlken said. “A bunch of students are camping out in front of the Pavilion on Wednesday before your team’s game against UC Riverside. It’d be cool if you and some of the players showed up to hang out for a bit.”

(They actually showed up. More details to come later.)

Step 2: Bring a foosball table.

“We should really bring a foosball table,” Loberstein said.

If you know Adam at all, you know he thinks foosball can solve pretty much any of the world’s problems.

So he, Gehlken, staff writer Ray Lin and myself carried the table all the way from The Aggie’s office in Lower Freeborn to the Pavilion, stopping randomly in some bike circles to get a couple games in.

Step 3: Wait, they didn’t get that far.

The night was great (exception: that was the night a pipe bomb was found in the Tercero Dorms). The team showed up. They brought pizza from Woodstock’s. We played some foosball. They left. We played some more foosball. Then we woke up and … well, I will let you guess. (Hint: think foosball.)

The Aggies ended up winning that game and eventually advanced to the Big West finals. Unfortunately, an experienced squad from UC Santa Barbara proved to be the Aggies’ match.

History can repeat once again on Friday (not including the conference finals loss, of course).

I’m not saying that everything that happened two years ago will happen again (no pipe bomb, please!), but hey, it could.

There’s no reason you shouldn’t attend.

Say you’re competing in Dodgeball Palooza. You just finished a game, but it’s an all-night affair. You have nowhere to go or nothing to do for an hour.

Now you do. Head on over to the entrance of the Pavilion and hang out with some of the most dedicated Aggie fans on campus.

Say you were already going to the gymnastics meet on Friday. (The Aggies have a tri-meet with Sacramento State and Eastern Michigan that begins at 7 p.m.) When the meet is over and you’re leaving, stop by and show your support.

Whatever your reason is for going, you’ll want to consider staying. That’s if you want to watch a UC Davis team that may make history in nine days. (I refer to the Big West Tournament final scheduled for Saturday Mar. 13).

If UC Davis wins tonight against Cal State Northridge and Saturday against Cal State Fullerton, it will guarantee itself a double bye in the league tournament and put the team TWO games away from the NCAA Tournament.

Did you hear that folks? That’s select company as far as UC Davis is concerned.

The women’s water polo team made the tournament in 2007. The baseball team did it in 2008. The men’s soccer team did it in both years.

That’s it – four teams. The UC Davis women’s basketball team could be the fifth in the school’s Division I, playoff-eligible era.

If for nothing else, come on Friday night to show your support for those die-hard Aggie fans who are hoping to see history play out on Hamilton Court for the last time this season.

MAX ROSENBLUM went off with parentheses in this column, much like Dave Karimi does on Tuesdays. Rosenblum can be reached at sports@theaggie.org.

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