After last week’s interview with head coach of West Chester volleyball Katherine Bellaver, I asked two senior players about their experience of a lack of a fall season.
First, I talked to fourth-year middle blocker and captain of the team Olivia Rudjord. After starting 2 games out of 18 in 2018, Rudjord started in 19 of the 25 matches she appeared in during the 2019 season. She finished the last fall with 154 kills, 78 blocks and a hitting percentage of .234. Rudjord commented on the team’s chances in a season that would have been:
Q: As team captain, what were your expectations for the team this fall? Did you think there was potential for a bounce-back season?
A: We are lucky enough to have the majority of our team returning from last year, so we had high hopes for a strong comeback season. Since our team mostly consisted of underclassmen last year, it’s exciting that our sophomore and junior classes are coming back with more experience yet so much potential. Volleyball is a sport that requires team chemistry, and I think that our current team dynamic will help us find success in the potential upcoming season. Everyone is eager to get back on the court and push each other to ensure we have a successful bounce-back season.
Rudjord also discussed the online workouts that the team has been conducting:
Q: Your head coach mentioned the team has been conducting online workouts. Do you think they have been effective? Are there any other things you are doing to stay in game shape, et cetera?
A: Our online workouts and “Zoom practices” have been running pretty efficiently. Although it definitely is not what we had hoped to be doing in the fall, we are making the best of the situation. Coach puts us through a tough workout everyday via Zoom, and we all make sure to get some extra lifts and workouts in our own time. We are really missing the game aspect and putting in work on the court, but these workouts are definitely preparing us for the day we can return to Hollinger. Aside from the workouts, I have really been focusing on the nutritional and mental aspects of keeping myself fit for game days. Properly fueling your mind and body plays a huge role in performance as well [as] strength and endurance. Even during these unprecedented times, we are staying together as a team and staying positive until we can be back on the court together again.
I asked fourth-year outside hitter Samantha Bevilacqua about the lack of a fall season:
Q: As one of the seniors on the team, what have your thoughts been on the cancellation of your final fall season?
A: My teammates and I were definitely not expecting this season to look the way it does, but we are all doing the best we can in these difficult circumstances. It’s really heartbreaking that we cannot be on the court together doing what we love, but we are staying positive so we can pick back up right where we left off when we come back!
Bevilacqua also talked about the team’s online Zoom workouts:
“The Zoom workouts have been a great way for our team to stay in touch and motivate each other to work hard so that we come back even stronger. Coach is helping us do our part to get back on the court safely and as soon as possible. I’m lucky that I work at a local sports facility/gym, so I have been training as much as I can on the court and in the gym to improve my game, strength and agility while we aren’t in season.”
For more information on the WCU women’s volleyball team and other teams, visit www.wcupagoldenrams.com.
Tyler Grace is a third-year Economics and Finance major. TG885739@wcupa.edu