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Chronicles From Canada With Matt Kamieniecki
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                VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Canada - Ball State sophomore forward Matt Kamieniecki (Clarkston, Mich./Clarkston) will be sharing a student-athlete's view of the Cardinals nine-day trip to Vancouver and Victoria, British Columbia, Canada with a daily blog at www.ballstatesports.com.  Kamieniecki played 23 games last season as a true freshman and will be eager to step into a larger role this upcoming season.   

Blog Entry #6 - Final Blog

                As the final days in Canada came to an end, the trip only got better. Sunday the team took on Vancouver Island University in its last game, which was a two-hour drive up the coast. We were trying to accomplish an undefeated trip with a 4-0 record and we did so by winning the game 101-67. Going 4-0 on the trip was a great experience.

After the game was over, the team had the rest of the day to relax and walk around Victoria, which is a completely different city than Vancouver. Monday morning the team went to breakfast and then had to opportunity to go on a three-hour whale watching tour, which was an amazing experience. We saw numerous different Orca whales, sea lions and seals.

After the tour, the team headed to the ferry for its trip back to Vancouver. The ferry took the team back to Fairmont Hotel near the Vancouver airport for its final night in Canada. Tuesday morning, the team got up bright and early with a 4:45 a.m. wake-up call and spent the entire day making the trek back to the states. We had two flights, with a connection in Toronto, before landing in Chicago. One final bus ride and we finally made it home to Muncie.

Overall, the trip was a wonderful experience for the entire team and everyone was grateful for the opportunity. We had success on the trip with four wins and had numerous team bonding activities. We are more prepared for the upcoming season and this trip should give us a head start on most teams we will play this year.

Blog Entry #5 - Friday & Saturday, August 12-13

                Friday was just like another game day. Team breakfast was first, followed by a little rest time before team pregame meal. Pregame meal took place at a different Fairmont Hotel right on the water. After the meal the team had a little bit of time before they boarded the bus to head to the Royal Olympic Oval to take on the Trinity Western University Club team.

The game started out neck and neck as both teams battled to gain the lead. As the game progressed, Ball State started to pull away and ended up scoring over the century mark again, winning the game 114-71.

                Saturday, the team packed up all their things and headed 40 minutes to a ferry that would eventually take them from Vancouver to Victoria. The two-hour ferry ride was awesome. The sights and views from this huge boat, that was also carrying about 300 vehicles, were amazing. When the ferry arrived at Victoria, the team headed to the Grand Pacific Hotel to check in. After checking in the team headed to play the Victoria Select Club team.

                The game went back and forth the whole time. Ball State was up nearly the whole game until Victoria Select gained the lead. Then Ball State limited its turnovers and locked down on defense to pull out the 6-point victory, winning 88-82.

Sunday the team plays at 2 p.m. against Vancouver Island University in its final game of the trip. The team is looking to complete its sweep in Canada and make it a memorable trip. Go Cards!

Blog Entry #4 - Thursday, August 11

            Thursday started out with excitement right off the bat. After team breakfast, everyone loaded up on the bus to head over to the Capilano Suspension Bridge and Park. The suspension bridge was exhilarating and tested everyone's fear of heights as the bridge swayed 230 feet above the ground.

After crossing the bridge everyone had a chance to adventure through the nature walk. During that time, we went through the nature walk with a tour guide who showed everyone different trees, birds, and then banana slugs-which some people licked (Tyler Koch, Randy Davis). As the tour guide explained, by licking the slug your tongue goes numb.

            After the bridge and park, the team had some time to relax and grab lunch before the team went out bowling. Bowling in Canada is very different than in the U.S. as there are only five pins and you get three shots each frame. Some people found it difficult while others played very well. After bowling everyone had a chance to choose where they wanted to go for dinner.

            Friday the team has a game at the Royal Olympic Oval against Trinity Western University Club. We are excited to play our second game on the trip and are anticipating a tough contest as Trinity Western only lost by 10 points last year against Minnesota. Go Cards!

Blog Entry #3 - Wednesday, August 10

            Wednesday was a game day. It was the first game for the Ball State basketball team as it prepared to face Quest University. After team breakfast, the squad had a lot of time before the team's pre-game meal to relax and prepare for the upcoming game. The pre-game meal took place at the Old Spaghetti Factory, which was a great experience. Then the team came back to the hotel and boarded the bus for the hour drive to Quest University.

            As the game progressed, Ball State began to pull away and we reached the century mark in their 101-61 win over Quest. The campus was up in the mountains with some pretty awesome views of the surrounding area. After the game, the team enjoyed pizza for the hour-long car ride back to the Fairmont Hotel.

Tomorrow, we are going on an adventure to a suspension bridge which should be a wonderful experience. We have a team bonding experience scheduled for the evening but the coaching staff won't let us know what that entails so it should be interesting! Go Cards!

Blog Entry #2 - Tuesday, August 9

Tuesday was the first full day for the Ball State basketball team in Vancouver. The team experienced a once in a lifetime opportunity by going on a city tour. The tour included a ride around the city with amazing views and walks throughout Chinatown and Stanley Park. The team then enjoyed some free time to walk around and get some lunch.

Then we had our first practice here in Vancouver at the Richmond Olympic Oval. Practice went well and the team looked ready and focused for its first game. After practice the team enjoyed an amazing dinner at Joey Burrard restaurant. With the first day in the books here in Vancouver, the team, so far, is having a great time and enjoying the experience.

Wednesday we have a light schedule in the morning before heading to pregame meal at the Original Old Spaghetti Warehouse. We board the bus and take an hour trip to Squamish, British Columbia, where we will play our first game against Quest University. We are really excited about playing our first game against outside competition and after 10 days of practice it will be fun to battle against another team. Go Cards!

Blog Entry #1 - Monday, August 8

                The wait is over. After a great 10 days of practice the team is ready for its trip to Vancouver, Canada. Practices have been very helpful in preparing for the competition and the team is looking forward to facing out-of-the-country universities and club teams.

After arriving in Chicago Sunday night, the team was eager to get on the plane and take off Monday morning. Everything has gone well so far and with just two days before the first game, it is easy to say that the team is excited, focused, and determined to compete and play in the four games that will take place during this nine-day trip.

We are heading out Tuesday morning for a guided tour of Vancouver, which should provide us many great views of this big city. We also will hit the basketball court for the first time Tuesday afternoon as we venture over to the Richmond Olympic Oval for our first practice in a new country. Check back each day for daily updates on what the team has been doing in Vancouver. Go Cards!

--Matt Kamieniecki

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