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‘Fresno just felt comfortable.’ Buhach Colony water polo star chooses her college.

Bonding time with her new teammates, a tour around the campus, standing on the field during a football game and a one-on-one meeting with her potential college coaches.

That was how Buhach Colony’s Erin McBride recently spent her weekend recruiting visit at Fresno State. McBride had a blast and by the end of the trip she verbally committed to play water polo for the Bulldogs.

“I spent three days in Fresno,” McBride said. “ I spent the night in the apartments with a bunch of the girls. They took me all around, we went on a tour of the campus. We got to go on the field for a football game, which was the first football game I’ve been to at Fresno State. It’s the first time I’ve ever seen the campus. It was really an amazing trip. All the girls were super nice.”

Fresno State checked all the boxes on McBride’s recruiting checklist.

The Thunder star wanted to stay in Northern California and close to home. UC Davis and San Jose State were at the top of her list early on during her decision process, but even those two schools seemed to far away in McBride’s mind.

McBride eventually zeroed in on Fresno State and knew it was her top choice when she started setting up her recruiting visit.

“Fresno just felt comfortable,” McBride said. ”Even talking to the other coaches, I felt stressed out. Talking to the coaches at Fresno, I felt I could be myself.

“The girls on the team were all amazing. They were all super sweet. That was a big thing for me. I didn’t want to go somewhere where I felt I was going in scared. I didn’t want to be treated like a freshman on the team.”

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Buhach Colony’s Erin McBride recently verbally committed to play water polo at Fresno State. Andrew Kuhn akuhn@mercedsun-star.com

McBride was the Central California Conference Offensive Player of the Year last year in leading Buhach Colony to a co-Central California Conference championship. She was the Sun-Star Girls Swimmer of the Year this past spring after winning two CCC individual championships.

McBride comes from swimming family. Her older sister was a standout at Buhach Colony and now plays at Cal State Monterey Bay, which also showed interest in Erin.

McBride plans to major in kinesiology at Fresno State. The Bulldogs are getting an outstanding student. McBride currently has a 4.1 GPA at Buhach Colony.

“I really want to represent the Valley girls in water polo,” McBride said.” That means a lot to me. I want to represent everything about the Central Valley.”

According to McBride, any money attached to a scholarship will be determined later.

With her decision made, McBride is getting a jump on buying Bulldogs gear.

“I went crazy in the student store,” she said. “I bought two shirts and my uncle already bought me some sweat pants and a sweatshirt. I’m going to get decals I’m so excited”.

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