Jenison varsity volleyball during Covid-19
October 6, 2020
With Covid-19 still being an issue here in Michigan, fall sports have had to make changes. Jenison Varsity volleyball has had to enforce many new health regulations this fall season in order to play.
In a time of a pandemic being inside a gym proposes many dangers. However, the volleyball team was not ready to give up their season. They drove 30 minutes away every day to practice outdoors until they got the go-ahead to practice in the Jenison High School gymnasium. They agreed to follow the state order of wearing masks the whole time they practice, which can be up to two hours.
Masks during play
Wearing a mask in everyday life may not feel like that big of a deal. However, when playing fast-paced sports that involves lots of communication among each other it may get in the way. “Wearing a mask has made communicating challenging because everyone is breathing a lot harder, and also it is harder to hear everyone’s voice,” said Ella Uganski. Masks make communicating challenging. It places a barrier between your voice and the
other person. It is super important now for everyone to be extra loud to make sure everyone hears them on the court.
When running to the right place and diving for balls the mask often falls below the nose. These measures also lead to heavy breathing which can be uncomfortable in a mask and may cause hyperventilation. I asked Taylor Freyling, Jenison senior if she thought wearing a mask during practice and games was effective since it often slips off. Her response was, “I don’t think it’s effective to wear a mask because usually people put it below their nose anyway because they can’t breathe.”
Limited fans in the stands
Not only do they have to play with masks, which makes it challenging but the team also has to play with a limited number of fans in the stands. This season each athlete can invite two people to watch their games. Oftentimes this means only the parents can watch. Jenison is known for their loud and supportive Cat Pack which cheers the team on. Without the Cat Pack in the gym, it tends to feel pretty quiet and empty. However, the team feels fine with it because they just want to play. Senior Natalie Siler says it best, “ It is a bummer that we don’t get to have as much support as we have in the past but I’m just thankful to play — Natalie Siler
It is a bummer that we don’t get to have as much support as we have in the past but I’m just thankful to play
— Natalie Siler
Although the 2020 fall season of volleyball looks different from years past the team still has a positive outlook and is grateful to be able to play. “I still like playing volleyball because it feels like more of a privilege since we went through not playing it for so long,” said Taylor Freyling.
With the team still adjusting to the new normal, their record is 3-3 with over half of the season left. They remain hopeful that they will be able to finish strong without Covid-19 getting in the way. As of now, there are no cases within the team and they will continue to take precautions to keep it this way.
The team is resilient to the changes they have had to face. Covid-19 introduced facemask while playing and limited fans but the girls are just grateful to be able to play. They will undertake whatever it takes to play the sport they love.