Looking to Cross the Border From Mexico, Into the N.C.A.A.

5/1/2017 New York Times

volleyball2TIJUANA, Mexico — The day began before 7 a.m. at the Baja Inn, where several members of the Cetys University women’s volleyball team had spent the night in preparation for a two-day trip to the United States. In sweatpants and warm-up gear, the players made a determined effort to get downstairs and out the door before other guests were even awake.

These players live in Mexicali, home to a Cetys campus, a little more than two hours east of Tijuana. The rest of the team, from the university’s Tijuana campus, soon joined them, and shortly after 7 their van rolled into the city’s warren of streets.

That day’s match, an exhibition against San Diego Christian College, was not scheduled to begin until 1 p.m., and the gym was less than 40 miles away. But crossing the United States-Mexico border can take hours, so the team played it safe, sacrificing sleep to make sure it arrived on time.

“We never know how long it’s going to be,” Margarita Cuellar, the team’s coach, said through an interpreter.

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