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Notre Dame, Saint Mary’s student governments build community in beach volleyball match

For the first time ever, the Saint Mary’s and Notre Dame student governments went head-to-head in a beach volleyball game.

They met at 5:30 p.m. on Friday at the sand volleyball courts on Saint Mary’s campus.

Saint Mary’s students arrived at the sand volleyball court with colorful posters to cheer on their student government. Free shirts were given to those in attendance, music was playing and students lined the blue fence of the court to watch the student governments face off in the sand.

Saint Mary’s Student Government Association prepared for the big game by having a volleyball training camp on Thursday night. Becca Jones, a senior at Saint Mary’s who is the co-chair of the sustainability and food services committee, said the training consisted of making TikToks and doing sit-ups.

“A lot of us don’t have that much experience, but we have a lot of spirit,” Jones said before the match.

Jones’ teammate, Vinni Paradiso, was confident in her team’s ability before the match.

“I think we’re just going to have to work as a team and come together as a family to get the [win] tonight,” Paradiso, a sophomore co-chair of the media and marketing committee, said before the game.

Notre Dame started off with a big lead when they won the first of three sets.

When the second set rolled around, the teams switched sides of the net and were given a few minutes to talk strategy.

Saint Mary’s won the second set, leaving the score 1-1 before the third and final set. The third set was filled with several long rallies, but ultimately Notre Dame won, winning the game overall.

Volleyball was not the only skill on display Friday night.

Patrick Lee, the Notre Dame student body president, showcased his air guitar abilities while standing on the sidelines between sets.  He frequently “strummed” along with the music being played throughout the match.

Prior to the game, Saint Mary’s SGA president Angela Martinez Camacho and vice president Josie Haas answered several questions about the event.

Because this is the first time the two groups have met on the court, Camacho and Haas explained how it came to be.

“It really just started randomly in the summer,” Camacho said. “It was like three in the morning, and I texted Josie.”

Shortly after, the two reached out to Lee and Notre Dame student body vice president Sofie Stitt to start planning.

Along with how this event came to be, Camacho shared what sparked the inspiration for the tournament.

“It is in our platform that we wanted to create a greater connection within the tri-campus,” she said.

Haas echoed Camacho’s sentiments.

“Building the connection with Notre Dame and Holy Cross always starts at the top,” she said. “When [students] get to see our student governments having fun together, and having this camaraderie, that makes all the difference.”

After the game, Stitt gave some insight on future plans involving tri-campus relations.

“There’s some stuff in the works,” she said. “We’re really excited to keep doing stuff with [Saint Mary’s and Holy Cross] moving forward.”

In a post-game interview, Lee was asked how it felt to win.

“It was definitely more about just having fun and promoting tri-campus community,” he said. “I think sports are a great way to come together.”

Contact Cathy Doherty at cdoherty01@saintmarys.edu.

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