By Bob Vazquez, Assistant Athletics Director, Strategic Communications
Sioux Falls, South Dakota – Life on the Road … It's never easy !!!
Bad weather that has hampered the Midwest and the East is playing havoc with the Cal State Northridge men's basketball team trying to get home to Los Angeles.
The original travel itinerary was simple. After the team arrived back around 10:00 pm at the hotel from its Thursday night game at the University of South Dakota in Vermillion, the team would have a wakeup call at 3:00 am, board the bus at 4:00 am, bus back one hour to Sioux Falls, catch a flight to Denver, and then a connecting flight to Los Angeles on Friday, January 3.
Once back in Southern California, the team would be back on the Cal State Northridge campus just before Noon.
Those plans have since changed several times.
The extremely cold, blustery, snowy weather throughout the Midwest and the East have cancelled several thousand flights including CSUN's flight from Sioux Falls to Denver to Los Angeles.
According to Lior Schwartzberg, the team's Director of Basketball Operations, the Matadors were informed of the team's canceled flights shortly after they arrived back to the hotel after the game at USD.
Since that time, Schwartzberg has been constantly on the phone with different airlines trying to figure out a solution to get the team home. He was told by the airlines that CSUN could not get home, possibly not until Monday.
Friday afternoon, the team decided to leave Vermillion and bus back to Sioux Falls to spend the evening at a hotel, and hopefully catch a flight from Sioux Falls to home as early as Saturday morning.
However, there are no guarantees, weather permitting.
One possibility discussed was having the team fly from Sioux Falls to Denver, then either to Albuquerque or Phoenix, and then make the approximate six-hour bus ride back from Arizona to Southern California.
Friday was "Day Seven" of a trip that has seen the team play games at Stephen F. Austin in Nacogdoches, Texas, and at the University of South Dakota in Vermillion.
Matador Memo …
It had been discussed about the team getting home to Los Angeles by bus from South Dakota, a trip that would have been one and a half days, weather permitting … Traveling by Amtrak would have taken 41 hours, weather permitting.
Weather Warning …
Today's weather in Sioux Falls was expected to be much warmer than Vermillion, South Dakota … Highs today have reached 28 degrees with a nighttime low expected to be 12 degrees … Vermillion was expected to have temperatures reach as low as zero degrees with a low of -17 this weekend … Add in the wind chill factor of a possible -50 degrees, and it's bitterly COLD !!!