Written by Britty Gist and Tiane Davis.
After seasons resumed for volleyball, basketball, track, golf, tennis, softball and baseball this spring, several games for each team were canceled due to COVID-19 and inclement weather concerns.
Three games into their spring 2021 season, the Lady Bisons volleyball team faced cancellations when inclement weather closed campus for seven days between Feb. 11-19.
“The unknowns have given us a new perspective on why we even play volleyball,” sophomore middle blocker Libby Hinton said. “It is not just for winning — it is for building relationships.”
The Harding University men’s basketball team has also faced challenges with COVID-19 and unexpected weather, with eight out of 19 of their games being canceled since their season started in January. Aside from cancellations, the team has had to deal with players being quarantined or put in isolation.
“Yesterday was our first game with everybody back and able to play,” junior guard Collier Blackburn said. “And there was a stretch where we didn’t do any contact in practice.”
Head volleyball coach Meredith Fear said she and the team have been doing what they can to keep practicing like normal and on schedule, while also taking the necessary precautions to ensure everyone’s health and safety. They do online screening, wear masks at all times when not playing, do weekly testing and more to prevent COVID-19 transmission.
Sophomore Ally Stoner, outside hitter for the volleyball team, said they all remain optimistic for this season and are taking it one day at a time. The team has yet to have a game canceled due to COVID-19, but they did have a game, along with two practices, canceled because of the ice and snow in the same week. The team practiced and prepared last week, despite the weather, and did conditioning and workouts on their own time in the safety of their respective homes.
“We are adapting to everything that has come our way,” Stoner said. “We are keeping our hands open while letting go of what we can’t control and controlling what we can.”
Hinton said that COVID-19 fluctuations and the weather are unpredictable, and they have tried to use practice as an opportunity to not only grow their skills and plays, but plays, but to also better themselves as individuals and as a team.
“They are so wonderful,” Fear said. “I have been impressed with their resiliency and good attitudes during this time.”