CWU Women’s Volleyball taking part in modified practices ahead of potential spring season

Derek Harper, Reporter

Like most things these days, nothing is normal for the CWU women’s volleyball team. Practices now include temperature checks, screenings, and social distancing. 

Social distancing has caused some challenges for the coaching staff, but they’ve still been able to manage practices.

“You know, there’s some crossing things that we have to kind of manage so sometimes,” Head Coach Mario Andaya said. “We’re coaching social distancing rather than the drill,”

Players are not able to play full six on six in the gym during practice either because they need to social distance. However, they are able to work on sharpening their skills. 

Drills in practice and off-court bonding such as what CWU Middle Blocker Leanna Shymanski talked about are keeping teammates close and letting them continue practicing as much as they can.

While they may not be competing with other schools this fall, the drills the team is taking part in are preparing them still keeping them ready for a potential spring season. 

“We can still do a ton of skill work, something that Mario talks about, it’s called volleyball 101,” Shymanski said. “So we’re just breaking down our skills and grinding it out right now.” 

Despite just working on skills, the tempo and intensity hasn’t let up. Andaya touched on the intensity of the drills and how they’re different from regular six on six.

“But the drills are good, you know they’re high rep, they’re high, the tempo is good, and so we’re getting a lot of, we’re getting some quality touches at this point,” Andaya said. “You know some schools aren’t so we’re pretty fortunate.”

Similar to what professional sports have done to compete during this pandemic, the GNAC plans to do a bubble-like format called pods with multiple teams playing each other over the course of a weekend.

“We’re gonna develop a pod schedule, so play three of four teams at a time per weekend,” Andaya said. “Then have a conference tournament at the end so if that’s the case we’re really going to have to prepare for three or four teams per weekend which is going to be a little bit different.”