On the evening of Sunday, November 15, Governor Gretchen Whitmer, along with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services released a three-week “Plan to Save Lives,” a new form of lockdown in order to curb the spread of COVID-19. This is a less strict version of the lockdown that lasted multiple months in the spring of 2020. With this new epidemic, comes the pausing of a lot of our activities and extracurriculars throughout the school, including organized sports.
November is a transitional period from fall to winter sports, however, our girls volleyball team has made it very far in the postseason tournament prior to the shutdown. The State Quarterfinals, which was originally scheduled for Tuesday, November 17, has been rescheduled for after the three-week pause. This gives the girls three weeks of not playing, practicing, or bonding as a team. However, the team is still participating in online workouts and Google Meets in order to keep their spirits up, and maintain the team chemistry.
“I think this lockdown will not affect our chemistry or our drive to beat Lowell, if anything, we are more excited that we may still get the chance to play them,” Senior Alissa Barnes said. “We have several online workouts from Vez that we are all participating in to stay ready to play Lowell. We are also doing several Google Meets to see each other and keep our spirits up!”
The team’s senior libero, Alissa Barnes, fractured her wrist mid-season, playing Zeeland. This was a setback the girls did not expect, however, they have been able to adjust to the new rotation, and they have continued to be successful throughout their last few games. As a senior, Barnes was devastated to find her last Portage Central Volleyball season come to an early end, however, she has been able to find a new role to continue to support her team, even if she cannot physically be on the court.
“Practices and games have had an amazing energy with the team, and I make sure to lose my voice every game to still be there for them in that way, even though it is not in the way I would prefer,” Barnes said. “I love watching because it gives a whole new perspective and you can easily see the mistakes made and how to fix them, so I can be another coach for them.”
Through all the setbacks of this season, cancellations, injuries, new routines and environments due to COVID-19, the girls of Portage Central Volleyball have persevered, and had a lot of success. The team will take the court again in the State Quarterfinals against Lowell High School after the shutdown.
PC: Alissa Barnes