Earlier last month the much-anticipated girls volleyball season began. Due to the current situation with COVID-19, the experience has been slightly different for the players. But overall, the requirements for the safety of the students are seen as “reasonable,” by Nyandang Yak, a sophomore at Malden High School, who also mentioned that overall, volleyball has not changed much because it “[is not] really a contact sport.”
Head Coach Dan Jurkowski mentioned that “there was certainly an adjustment period” for the players but they seem used to the changes by now. As a whole, he assumes that they are “enjoying the season.” Though different all the girls seemed to agree that they were enjoying it. Corinne Holness, a freshman who is new to the Malden High School Volleyball team, mentioned that the season has “been really, really good.” Even though there have been “a lot of new different things,” for her to experience here at Malden High School.
Of course keeping morale up can be somewhat of an issue especially since as Isabella Ivy, a Sophomore, mentioned they can only “allow so many people in the gym at one time.” Jurkowski added that he “[misses] the fans the most.” Due to COVID restrictions “each player only gets one family member for [their] home games.”
This of course can disappoint players, some like Makayla Preston, a senior who mentioned that because of this “[it is] harder to stay positive, even when [the team is] down.” Preston also added that just having each other around is great because “with the girls on the sidelines [they are able to] keep each other up.”
COVID has not stopped the team from bonding and getting to know each other more personally. Meryem Hakkaoui, a sophomore student, admits that it is a “new feeling to play with girls [she] never played with before, especially since [there are] a lot of freshmen.”
To Hakkaoui it is important to see how the others work as a team player, because that “signifies [to her] who they are as a person, ” which is why she and a lot of the others rely a lot on “practice times [... to get to] know each other.”
Currently the team is winning, which Jurkowski mentioned “always makes things more enjoyable.” All in all the team is just glad to be back, and are enjoying each other's company, and as Hakkaoui mentioned “especially during COVID.”
Thankfully for new players it is easy to adapt into the team with a group of girls that, as Preston mentioned, are “going to treat you like [you have] been [there] forever.” Although the season has been cut down to a short amount of time Hakkoui hopes that next year when they come back “[they] can be an even better team.”