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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - As is tradition, Penn State's Student-Athlete Advisory Board hosted its third annual SAAB Lip Sync Battle to benefit THON at the HUB earlier this week.
A total of nine Nittany Lion teams put on a show in the Freeman Auditorium to benefit Penn State's annual 46-hour dance marathon, which kicks off February 16 in the Bryce Jordan Center.
Following a full slate of performances, a panel of esteemed guest judges featuring Penn State sports medicine's Dr. Roberta Millard, Mike Herr or better known around campus as, "Mike the Mailman" and Penn State cheerleader Francis Alvare made their selections.
Penn State's men's swimming team took home the golden microphone this year with their rendition of Flo Rida's "Low." Men's volleyball and women's volleyball finished second and third, respectively.
"We've been working on this since October," said SAAB THON chair Tess Kearns (track and field/cross country). "Teams started signing up right before winter break so that was a lot of fun seeing who was coming together and the acts they were doing."
Our trip has ended the exact same way it started ... a CANCELLED flight! We started off with an early morning, piling into the bus at 6:45 a.m. We then had a two hour drive to the Shannon Airport only to go inside and find out that our flight had been cancelled.
So, we packed up the bus again and headed to the Dublin Airport to try and catch a flight back to the United States. While we were waiting for the coaches to figure out the situation, the team stayed back in the bus jamming out to throwback songs and talking about the memories we made throughout the week.
The coaches returned to the bus with some good and bad news. The bad news is that we will be staying an extra night in Dublin and hopefully be able to fly out tomorrow morning. The good news is that we get to make up the day we didn't have at the start of our trip!
We had a wonderful dinner and we can't wait to get back to State College!
- Ashni Dhruva, sophomore
Friday marked our last day together in my home country Ireland. We were able to sleep in until 8 a.m., which was fantastic. It was our final day having breakfast at the hotel so I took full advantage of the amazing selection of breakfast food they had. The Irish pudding was so good!
Then we set out to play at Tralee Golf Club. When we got there, we noticed how windy it was. Despite it being 40 mph winds all day, it was an unbelievable experience. I don't think anyone had experienced such extreme weather. The weather was something we will never forget.
It would rain for one hole and then next hole it would be down pouring. I remember on the seventh hole, we were discussing where to aim since the wind was coming very strong to the right. The only way to get the ball on the fairway was to aim out of bounds and let the wind bring it in. Some holes we would have to hit four to five clubs extra to reach the hole. Despite the very tricky conditions, we all fought on.
It was also our final day of competition between the black and pink team. We played match play format. The points were tight all day, but the black team came out as the champions.
After we finished our last golf round in Ireland, we headed back to the hotel to have our farewell dinner at the hotel. My parents joined us from Dublin for dinner and it was lovely having them there beside me before I leave for college.
My mum surprised us with an amazing leprechaun cake. However, they made a funny typo and wrote "Pen State" instead of "Penn State."
We are all sad that this amazing trip has come to an end. We have made some memorable memories together and really got to know each other better.
- Ariana Coyle Diez
marked our second to last full day in Ireland. Due to 8 a.m. tee times at
Ballybunion Golf Club, our day got off to an early start. After grabbing
breakfast to go and gathering our team, we stepped out of the hotel and into
The rain continued throughout our bus ride to County Kerry and arrival at Ballybunion. Despite the wet conditions, our team could not wait to experience one of Ireland's finest golf clubs. Ballybunion is home to two courses: the Old Course and the Cashen Course. Our team would be playing the Old Course, which was established in 1893. The format for the day was a two-person scramble match play.
As we were walking to the first tee, several of us were stopped by another group of golfers. They noticed our Penn State gear, and since one of the guys was a Penn State alum, we had to take pictures!
When standing on the first tee, it's easy to see why Ballybunion is so unique and historic. With the course situated on the cliffs of the Atlantic Ocean, almost every direction gives you a scenic view. Along with ocean views, thick heather, pot bunkers, and firm greens, the first hole even includes a graveyard.
Although the conditions early in the morning were wet and chilly, we couldn't complain about the weather during our round. With a bit of Irish luck, we had no rain and wind speeds between 20 and 25 mph.
Once our matches concluded, we set off to have lunch in the club's restaurant. The restaurant faces west and overlooks the 18th hole of the Old Course and the beaches of the Atlantic Ocean.
Our day would not be complete without a few afternoon excursions. Our first stop was to a beach not far from the golf course. In fact, the beach was north of the Cashen Course and included views of the ruins of Ballybunion Castle, which makes up the logo for the golf club. Our second stop was at an old Catholic Cathedral. The oldest part of the structure was built in the 12th century.
We spent our evening winding down at a traditional Irish pub in downtown Killarney. Experiencing traditional links golf at Ballybunion Golf Club and sightseeing on our return trip to Killarney made day four in Ireland one for the books!
- Kamerine Taylor, junior
Today, we were fortunate enough to play Dooks golf links. The course was absolutely beautiful and right by the water. There was a
spectacular view at every hole. We were able to see the water and the giant
green mountains in the back, which were partially covered by thick fog.
Throughout the golf course there was also lavender that lined the rough/fescue,
which was a very pretty site to see and smelled amazing!
We played in the traditional Irish weather, 65 degrees with light rain and 15 mph winds. Our team was again divided into two teams, pink and black. Today we played a match play format. Coach St. Pierre paired us all up with a member of the opposite color team to compete. I was a member of the black team and I got to play with Ariana Coyle-Diez and I am happy to say, that today the black team won!
After our rounds, we stopped at a local museum called the Kerry Bog Village. At the museum there were Kerry Bog Ponies and Irish Wolfhounds that we could all pet. The Irish Wolfhounds came right up to Coach St. Pierre and seemed extremely excited to see her!
Also, there were many 18th and 19th century homes still intact. We learned a lot about Irish daily activities, which consisted of growing vegetables, mainly potatoes, and tending to the farm animals. For dinner, we went to the town of Killarney and ate at Robertino's, which was a very good Italian place!
The Penn State women's golf team had a very good day!
- Megan McLean, sophomore
Today started off with an early morning wakeup call for
our first breakfast in Ireland. We then headed to Waterville for our second
round of golf. We spent half of the ride sleeping or taking pictures of each
other sleeping. The other half we spent talking about the places we were all
seeing for the first time.
The route we took was so scenic that we stopped a few times to take it all in. After a three hour ride we arrived for one of the most enjoyable rounds of my life.
Our team was divided into two teams, one pink and one black. We played today in a four-ball format. So far the black team is still in the lead but not by much!
The course was beautiful and played tough. I had the pleasure of having Coach St. Pierre as my four-ball partner and we had so much fun. We pulled off some great shots and shared a lot of laughs.
After our round we headed to our next hotel, however, there was a bit of traffic on the way over. The reason for the traffic was a heard of wild horses, that were being led by a donkey running down the road.
Once we got to the hotel we unpacked and headed off to dinner. Our second day in Ireland has been filled with funny photos and good laughs. Each day gets better and our team is making great memories together.
- Maddy Herr, sophomore
We were already off to a good start because our Irish teammate Ariana (Coyle Diez) and her family were there to welcome the team. Once we gathered everyone and waited for our bags - thankfully everyone's arrived, we were finally ready to get our day started!
We left the airport to make our way to the Old Head Golf Links.Three hours later, we arrived and upon seeing some of the most amazing views, we knew we were in for a treat.
We teed off in groups of four and had matches going on in each group. During our round, we had weather from just about every season. We started off in a cold rain with wind, then fog rolled in, followed by bright sunshine.
Each hole had a breathtaking view, fourteen of the eighteen holes were located right on the ocean. The round came and went and before we knew it, we were leaving a magnificent place. The day was filled with many laughs and a lot of fun, just adding to the endless stories and memories we have already created as a team.
Jackie Rogowicz, junior
Waller, Penn State women's golf
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.- After a rough go of it yesterday, today was the day, the day we would FINALLY get to Ireland. And it would only take a team split up, five different flights, and a new destination to get there.
Spending hours trying to figure out our new plans for our trip,
a solution was reached, one that was not the easiest but the only way possible.
Our new, final destination was now Dublin, causing a little bit longer of a
drive upon arrival but nothing we can't handle.
However, what was hard to handle was the fact that our team would be split up. Six going one way and five going another. All on completely different flights and different routes to get to the same final destination. The six took an 11 AM flight to Philadelphia to then have a long, nine hour layover for the flight to Dublin at 9 PM. The other five were not so lucky, having to take three different flights and not much relaxing time. They took a 1 PM flight to Philly just to catch a 3:45 PM flight to Chicago and then, finally, a 6:30 PM flight to Dublin.
To say that we had a heck of a time getting to Ireland is an understatement. Between the cancelled flight and crazy day of travel, our patience was surely tested. But through all of that, we finally made it to Ireland and our trip was underway!
Penn State women's golf is headed to Ireland on a foreign trip for a week of training at a variety of historic courses, with some tabbed among the best in the world. As the Nittany Lions experience Ireland, continue checking back for updates from trip.
Nine red letters, all combined into the one word that you never want to see displayed on an airport monitor, "CANCELLED." Those letters were the current roadblock between nine members of the Penn State women's golf team and a week-long trip to Ireland.
Four hours prior to the ultimate travel wrench being thrown at our golfing trip, we were in the Tombros Varsity clubhouse saying goodbye to our parents, reuniting with teammates and tagging our luggage. Along with our two coaches, we were all dressed in our brand-new navy blue track suits and Penn State sneakers as we loaded our stuff into two vans and took off to the airport.
At the University Park Airport, we went through ticketing, checked our luggage and headed off to security, which should have been our warning. Our navy blue tracksuits had zippers on the pants pockets, triggering University Park's new body scanner for all eleven members in our travel group. After the pat down, we turned the corner to the gates where we saw that our flight was delayed by fifteen minutes. Fifteen minutes turned into thirty, thirty to an hour, an hour to two hours and then, "CANCELLED." Conversations about how fast we could run through the Philadelphia airport to catch our connecting flight soon turned into conversations surrounding if we would even make it to our destination.
An hour later we were back in the men's and women's golf team vans. One van was headed to the State College SpringHill Suites and the other was headed to my apartment. Our trip was going to be delayed by a full 24 hours, but Coach St. Pierre had some good news - we would still make our tee time at Old Head in Kinsale, Ireland.
- Cara Basso, sophomore
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