After losing its traditional fall season to COVID-19, the volleyball team chose to declare this spring as its competition season.
The team is scrimmaging against other teams in the league, which allows it to have unofficial games now that the NSIC allows gameplay. The team will proceed with a fall season as normally played so long as the NCAA or NSIC allow a regular season.
“We had to declare this spring our championship season, which allows us to have some more opportunities to play, or scrimmage, as well as some more dates to practice,” head coach Jennifer Jacobs said.
Jacobs said declaring this spring as competition season does not affect eligibility for players, as the NCAA allowed an extra year of competitive gameplay for all sports.
“We tried to keep it semi-normal,” Jacobs said. “Ironically, the way that most of our players work things out is they’ll schedule their tougher classes in the spring usually and their lighter schedules in the fall.”
The team has two hour practices every day except for Sunday, with eight scrimmages scheduled throughout the season.
Sophomore libero Erika Bute said her schedule was much lighter in the fall, and some players had their harder classes scheduled this spring.
“I know it’s tough because it can be a grind not playing and having a lot of practices, but I feel like everyone stayed very focused and very positive throughout everything,” Bute said.
Jacobs said the Vikings tried to keep their practices as regular as a normal year. This February they held individual practices, and March and April will resume with regular practices.
“I have yet to have a true spring season,” Bute said. “I would say it’s probably a little less than I was hoping considering we didn’t have a season this fall.”
The scrimmages right now have no officials or referees and no spectators, but Jacobs said she hopes fans will be allowed soon. Bute said this will probably start as two spectators for each player and move up from there.
“I think they’re glad to be playing,” Jacobs said. “To be back and playing against someone else instead of just ourselves is huge.”
Bute said the seniors who are not returning for an extra year chose not to participate in the scrimmages. She does appreciate that next fall’s team will consist of everyone who is currently scrimmaging, plus recruits.
“We’re in a really good place,” Bute said. “We are all super close and everyone gets along, so it’s really fun to be a part of.”