Volleyball team overcomes disruption in season

The volleyball season was off to a strong start with a conference record of 3-0 when it came to a halt. According to volleyball coach Cassie Loyd, due to 16 out of 30 girls on the team being quarantined, they qualified for no contest for two weeks. No matches were played during the weeks of September 21, 2020 and September 28, 2020. 

“We are qualified,” Loyd said, “we’re calling it no contest which means we aren’t playing matches. We’re not punished for those matches. We don’t get wins, but we don’t get losses either, so we just don’t play. So it doesn’t hurt us.” 

The majority of the team still attending practices play the same positions. Since most play similar positions, the team can not scrimmage during practice. For the most part, they have been working on individual drills. According to Loyd, most girls quarantined have most doing workouts or have a net they have been using at home. 

“It’s been really challenging,” senior Cassia Cobb said. “But it’s also a great time to establish new relationships because JV and varsity have been mixing more than they ever have, so sophomores and seniors are able to connect on a new level.” 

The sophomores have been able to talk to and connect with the seniors. 

“It’s also made us be more appreciative of the time we do get, because a lot of girls are out,” Cobb said. “That’s never happened before, so we’re all just really thankful that we have been able to play games.” 

Not being able to finish the season was unheard of before this season. So the solution for this was a conference tournament. 

“Rogers has done no contest and (Bentonville) West has done no contest,” Loyd said, “so we don’t get to finish all of our conference games. Now the changes we’ve made because of that is we’re going into a conference tournament, instead of just playing everybody twice in our conference.”

All eight teams in the conference will be in the conference tournament. It will be a double elimination tournament and will last four days. The higher seed team will host who they play. The top six teams will go on to the state tournament. 

“They will seed the conference tournament by whoever has the most wins,” Loyd said. 

Since the team has been unable to play for two weeks, they can’t earn wins, while other teams have had the chance to earn more wins. 

“So definitely just getting a good seating to go into state from the conference tournament and just hopefully winning state, no matter how much adversity our team has been through,” junior Caylan Koons said. 

According to Loyd the team will be focusing the rest of the season playing games and matches again. As well as building chemistry and working together after spending two weeks apart. In order to prepare for the conference tournament. 

“I’m just really proud of our girls, especially the ones that didn’t get quarantine because there were so few,” Loyd said. “They’re been really focused. They’ve worked really hard. They’re gotten better and I’m really proud of how they responded to that. The ones that were quarantined as they’re coming back, you can tell that they’re ready to get back after it.”