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Thursday, October 28, 2021

Column: Enjoy the spring

It’s finally that time of the year. It’s officially spring quarter.

This means it’s the time for Picnic Day, the Rec Pool and of course, amazing weather (hopefully).

But seemingly buried within the awesome-ness that is spring quarter is a significant sports line-up.

With the two “big” collegiate sports, football and men’s basketball, happening in fall and winter quarters, respectively, it’s understandable why some of the spring sports go on the back burner. You might casually catch a college baseball or softball highlight on ESPN if something spectacular happens, but the spring sports don’t get the same national exposure as football and the basketballs.

Sure the Aggie Pack will encourage UC Davis fans to attend a women’s lacrosse or women’s water polo match, but you won’t see the mass turnout to one of these games like you would for football. I’m not here to offer explanations of why this is, but rather to preach my message of the quarter: go to these matches and enjoy it.

My message in the winter was simply go to the games. Now, I’m adding “enjoy it.” You might think these two things are the same, but they are very much different.

You and a bunch of friends can go to a baseball game and not watch a single out. That’s considered just “going to the match.”

Now, you could go to the same baseball game with the same group of friends, but this time, maybe you keep score. Or at the very least follow the game. This is “enjoying the match.”

This is my goal for the spring quarter. My New Year’s Resolution of going to as many games as possible is still intact. But now starting in spring, I’ll be doing a little more than just going. I will be keeping score at as many baseball and softball games as possible (a skill I strongly recommend every sports fan learn). Maybe I’ll go to a women’s lacrosse or water polo game not as an unbiased reporter, but rather as a passionate fan.

Even some of the lesser-known spring sports can be entertaining to go to and enjoy.

The softball team once again looks like a Big West Conference leader with its timely hitting and consistent pitching. The women’s water polo team is ranked in the top 20 in the nation. The women’s lacrosse team has won nine of its last 10 matches and boasts the nation’s most potent offense. The women’s golf team is quietly the most competitive team on the UC Davis campus as they continuously finish at the top of the pack in their events.

The women’s tennis team is off to its best start in school history. The nationally-ranked Aggies have already run off a 10 game win streak and look poised for a Big West title. The men’s golf team, like its women counterpart, consistently finds itself at the top of the pack. The track and field and men’s tennis team continue to show promise.

Then there’s baseball – my personal favorite. While the Aggie baseball team has struggled early in the season, they still boast a couple strong prospects.

All in all, it will be another exciting quarter for UC Davis athletics. There will be a wide variety of sporting events you can go to and enjoy. Don’t be afraid to try something new. If you don’t know much about women’s water polo, go to a match. (It’s a pretty exciting and sometimes intense sport.)

The same goes for the rest of the spring sports. Bored on a Saturday afternoon? Check The California Aggie and see if there is a sporting event going on. Chances are, there will be at least one.

This whole column might sound a little preachy, but I want to make UC Davis a better sports environment. This obviously won’t happen overnight. But going to a spring sporting event and enjoying it is pretty good start.

JASON ALPERT can be reached at sports@theaggie.org.

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