St. Teresa’s Volleyball Game Gathers Support from New Places

Seniors+Shannon+Karlin+and+Brynna+Dow%2C+sophomore+Brynna+Fitzgerald+and+junior+Bridgette+Conner+huddle+after+a+point+during+the+volleyball+game+against+St.+Teresa%27s+Academy+in+the+gym+on+Sept.+8.

Sofia Aguayo

Seniors Shannon Karlin and Brynna Dow, sophomore Brynna Fitzgerald and junior Bridgette Conner huddle after a point during the volleyball game against St. Teresa’s Academy in the gym on Sept. 8.

Sofia Aguyao, Features Editor

The volleyball team lost their yearly rivalry game against St. Teresa’s Academy in the gym on Tuesday, Sept. 8., 25-9 in the first set, 25-10 in the second, and 25-9 in the third. The game looked a lot different than rivalry games in years past: everyone had to wear masks and no students were allowed to watch. 

In order to maintain social distancing and safety protocols for COVID-19, each athlete was only allowed two spectators to come see them play, resulting in a noticeable lack of the noise and spirit that the rivalry game usually brings.

“The teammates did a nice job of kind of bringing some energy, and I think the team itself brought energy, but it’s just hard,” Athletic Director Kate Pilgreen said. “It’s so different than what we’re used to.”

Sophomore Brynna Fitzgerald sets the ball up for senior Gabby Gaither while junior Bridgette Conner runs to place during the varsity volleyball game against St. Teresa’s Academy in the gym on Sept. 8. Players wore masks at all times during the match. (Sofia Aguayo)

Because no students were allowed in the game, Director of Technology Services Jason Ketter set up two cameras in the gym showing different views of the court and live streamed the big game online for students to watch from home. More than 80 people logged on and watched the game, including junior Carmen Philips, who thought the setup was a good idea.

“I think live streaming is a great way for family members and relatives to watch the game if they can’t come due to health reasons or if they live far away,” Philips said.

Not only was this experience different for the students who watched online, but it was also very different for the players themselves. The team normally loves and takes advantage of the extra energy that comes from the crowd and all the spirit wear and chanting from Scream Team, according to the players. When it was all taken away, the team had to do more work by also helping build the atmosphere to encourage the players.

“There’s definitely moments that (a crowd) could have helped them going on to large runs, or have the momentum and have a crowd behind them,” head volleyball coach Brittany Boerigter said after the game. “However, a lot of it has to come in as an athlete to know when to turn it on.” 

Even though atmosphere and conditions were new and somewhat inconvenient compared to what everyone is used to, making the most out of the situation has helped people get through all the new protocols. Senior Shannon Karlin would never have imagined her senior St. Teresa’s game to look like this, but she was grateful it could happen at all.

“I think it kind of sucks to not have a big crowd, especially being our last game as seniors against St. Teresa’s,” Karlin said, “but I think we still battled and we know our peers are supporting us from home and we know they would be here if they could.”