The 11 teams on campus and over 200 student-athletes that make up PLNU athletics miss more than just school days for their sport.
In addition to missing class time, athletes also give up vacation time. Nearly four months combined in the case of the men’s and women’s basketball, soccer and baseball teams. While other students go home to see friends and family, athletes often have to stay on campus to practice or play games, especially if they make it to postseason.
That is exactly the case with women’s soccer, whose win against Holy Names two weeks ago earned them the PacWest Conference Champions title. Though they did not move on in the regional tournament over the weekend, they have already had to miss time for their sport.
Freshman women’s soccer player Morgan Pearce has had her first experience with missing vacations along with school time and said it’s harder than she thought to balance everything.
“So far, I have had to give up two weeks of my summer [and] fall break,” said Pearce. “It has been harder than I thought to manage soccer and school. There’s definitely a lot of long nights of homework after practicing, not to mention being tired from 6 a.m. practices.”
Pearce is also a Northern California native, and as a result, does not have as convenient opportunity to go home during the few breaks she gets.
“Since I live too far to go home on the weekends, I haven’t been home since the beginning of August. Whereas most people I know have spent time at home with their families…but in the end I have a great team to hang out with so it evens out.”
Men’s basketball player Trevor Peterson is also a Northern California native and regrets that he is not able to go home as easily as some of his teammates. Men’s basketball gives up time during Thanksgiving and Christmas, and part of their Spring Break if they make it to postseason.
“Our season is the only sport here that takes up both semesters with practice and games,” said Peterson. “I’m only home for a couple days at Thanksgiving and about seven days for Christmas. The most difficult thing about it for me is not being able to just drive home.”
Despite being away from home, student-athletes continue to play and balance school with a very high success rate.
Even student-athletes from Southern California, like baseball player Michael Randel, said missing vacation is just a necessary part of the sport.
“For me [vacation is] just a time where I get to concentrate on baseball and not have to think about school at all,” said Randel. “I gave that [vacation] all up when I made the commitment to play college baseball and I would make that choice again if I had the opportunity.”