Sports & Rec

How the women’s volleyball team is handling a postponed season

Photo by Mackenzie Hudson

Boise State volleyball had its 2020 season postponed after Mountain West Conference presidents voted on Aug. 5 to postpone all fall sports indefinitely. 

Shawn Garus has been the head coach for the women’s indoor volleyball team for 11 years.

“We had an official start date of Aug. 7, but we had an expectation that our season was going to be postponed, or in some way minimized if not canceled entirely,” Garus said. “We actually practiced four days in August before they officially announced that the fall sports were postponed.” 

The volleyball team went into a voluntary phase for the last six weeks. The voluntary phase consisted of no coaching, instructions or leading. The team only had limited access to workout facilities and gymnasiums.

Middle Blocker Alyssa Wissinger felt grateful that the season was postponed rather than canceled. 

“I think just trying to control what we can control and coming into practice, working hard and being grateful for the opportunities we still have, and that we’re still even able to play,” Wissinger said.

The limited access to gyms gave athletes room to be protected from exposure to the coronavirus. 

“The athletic department and campus kind of dictated what they were, and were not allowed to do, we practiced in the Bronco gym so they couldn’t have us whenever they wanted, they were only allowed to go in there two days a week so they could work around a cleaning schedule,” Garus said.

Junior Danielle Boss is the team’s setter and commented on the restrictions that were mandated not only on workouts, but at practices as well. 

“Personally, I think one of the hardest things for me to get used to not doing is high-fiving people, because in our sports it’s so much of a ‘high five and good job’ mentality, so I always catch myself thinking ‘wait no, I can’t high-five you,’” Boss said. “[We did] a lot of team bonding, I live with some of my teammates, but also really welcoming in the incoming freshman, wanting to get to know them, making them comfortable with the team. We’re trying to make the best of what’s happening right now because it’s so strange.”

Student-athletes have been trying to stay busy doing other activities, like trying to find jobs, and taking on more classwork, but still trying to maintain a safe distance to not get sick. 

Garus held meetings with each player individually to see how they are handling the issues related to the coronavirus. 

“When some of the team came back for the summer, they did a really good job of following the safety protocols, which led them to spending a lot of time with each other,” Garus said.

Senior Outside Hitter Kiley Lewis shared her thoughts about how the team is feeling given the circumstances.

“We can’t really dwell on it too much because it’s out of our control, so we just have to focus on the season in the spring now,” Lewis said. “We still train hard whether we’re in season or not, so the mentality is still the same year-round.”

All Mountain West volleyball coaches will continue to meet via Zoom call, to discuss tentative dates for practices, the regular season and NCAA tournaments. 

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