By J1 Reporter Brianna Dovali
Over the past eight months, the sports world has been drastically changed. Not only have college and professional sports been affected, but sports here at Marian have faced the challenges COVID-19 has brought. Near the end of the season, softball and volleyball had a hard time dealing with COVID cases rising.
Volleyball is one of the most popular sports at Marian, and most likely the highly anticipated sport that goes to state. Even with all of the precautions volleyball has taken, including sitting with their team at lunch, no sleepovers, and wearing masks while playing, they experienced an outbreak near the end of their season. The outbreak was not from a specific cause, but mainly from one person getting it and it starting to spread to everybody.
“Five people on JV, including the coach tested positive, five people on varsity tested positive, four people on reserve, and one on the freshman team, but all teams have had to quarantine,” JV sophomore Courtney Long said.
When districts were coming up, varsity was slowly having girls come out of quarantine to practice every day. “It was upsetting to find out we had to pull out of Metros and the Westside tournament, but we were excited to get on the court for districts,” varsity senior Alexa Richter said. They pulled up several JV girls to have more people on the team, but they ended up having almost everyone back and ready to compete.
With the JV, reserve, and freshman team’s seasons ending, these girls have learned a lot. “If anything, COVID-19 pushed us to want to win even more so that we could prove that we deserved a season,” Long said.
The most important lesson she has taken away from this situation is that “you should never take anything for granted. Nobody knew that the season would be the way that it was, so I wanted to make sure to cherish every moment of it,” Long said.
Similar to volleyball, softball has also faced challenges during their season. The number of players on each team was affected by decreasing the number of girls on each team, to try to lower the chances of exposure to ensure their season would not be cancelled. While taking this precaution, there were still a few girls on JV that had to quarantine due to exposure.
COVID has negatively affected the team chemistry, especially compared to years prior. “Last year we had more team dinners and team bonding experiences, so this year we had to improvise to create good chemistry for our team, so that we are able to be successful,” varsity senior Abby Russell said. On the other hand, the morale of the team was positively affected this year. “We have always been good with embracing adversity and honestly. COVID made us realize how grateful we are to be playing a season,” Russell said.
Through all of these challenges, both sports have persevered. The softball team went to state and won fourth place. Varsity volleyball competed at districts, but ended up losing Millard West. Even though their seasons were not exactly what they wanted, they made the best of their situations.