Volleyball season wrap-up

Kai Ahrens, Writer

Like most activities, sporting or otherwise, the 2020 volleyball season changed to become COVID regulated. But, even with all the changes, the spirit of volleyball did not change, and the teams still made the best of their seasons. Even though the season ended just shy of two games too soon, it ended with a bang with one last win at home against Mound Westonka. The varsity team ended the season as conference champions with an overall record of 10-3 and 10-2 in conference play.

COVID-19 made all the sports change their game plans. Volleyball was lucky enough to have the season before going full distant learning. The season restrictions included fewer fans, more sanitizing, and a shorter season with fewer games and no tournaments. 

Madi Johnson, sophomore JV player, commented on the most challenging aspect of COVID guidelines, “The season was affected by the guidelines because we weren’t always guaranteed our players. Even if one of my teammates tested negative they still had to quarantine which caused us to face challenges with positions and team numbers.” 

In previous seasons before 2020, there were worries of injuries taking out players for the season or a period of time; this year there were injuries and quarantine pulling out players. 

Even with all of the restrictions in place, the coaches and players made the best of their situation. There were many memories made this season; some even thought this year was their favorite season yet.

“My favorite memories from the season are after almost every home game we would go and get DQ as a team, and be there with them through all of this mess and being conference champs,” said Varsity Player Emerson Dillon.

Varsity Player Laci Kratochvil said, “My favorite memories from this year were team dinners and bonding with the team outside of volleyball.” 

JV Coach Amara Ekman said, “As a team, we accomplished a lot this year and created endless memories along the way. One memory that sticks out is our win over Hutchinson that was a ‘rescheduled’ game due to a snowstorm on the Thursday of that week.  We had also lost to Hutchinson earlier in the week on Tuesday.  I think this moment further proved our team’s resilience to perform at a high level during adverse situations no matter the day of the week.”

Varsity Coach Angie Andersen said, “I have a few favorite memories. My favorite memory is beating Hutchinson in their gym after losing to them earlier in the season! I also loved our senior night versus Waconia. Our team was in charge from beginning to end, and it’s always great to recognize a special group that puts their hearts into volleyball during their high school career. My most favorite would have to be riding the bus home after the last match and bonding over our favorite memories of the season with the entire team.” 

This year’s season motto was “Unity in Adversity.” Through all the hurdles of position changes, schedule changes, and guidelines to follow, the teams took every adverse circumstance as an opportunity to improve. 

Ekman stated for her JV team, “Our team’s biggest accomplishment was just showing up day-after-day and persevering through these unique circumstances to play the sport we love and finishing the season healthy and feeling accomplished.” 

For 2020, it’s a year of showing up and persevering through the day to day.

The next season is one to look forward to, hopefully with COVID gone and the school year going back to normal. Coach Andersen stated her ideas for next season, “The team in the future will keep doing great things! Seniors have done a great job of passing on a positive team culture, and the younger players are ready to step up and drive on!”