Lady Coyote Volleyball, Playing with Protocols

By Lillie Redmond

Lady Coyote Volleyball team at College of Southern Nevada is in season playing with strict COVID protocols.

COVID-19 hit more than a year ago shutting down most sports. At the beginning of the pandemic no teams were playing due to safety concerns. In recent months teams are back at it though playing has changed with strict protocols and oftentimes no fans in the stands.

Jan. 22, 2021 began the official National Junior College Athletic Association’s volleyball season and the Lady Coyote began practice on Feb. 8.

The Lady Coyote’s record is currently 1-7, with anticipation for the regional tournament in Richfield, Utah beginning on April 1.

There are safety protocols for the players. As soon as they walk into the gym they have to wash their hands and get their temperatures taken. Masks must be worn at all times unless on the court playing. Players have to walk certain directions in the hallways of the building to keep social distancing. They can’t use the locker room but instead use the large dance room, on North Las Vegas campus, to get dressed and prepare for the game, allowing for more social distancing. During the game, players stay distanced even when huddling. All of these measures are meant to keep things safe.

Returning player Meredith Bautista stresses the fact that Nevada, specifically CSN, has stricter coronavirus regulations. “Our COVID protocols are a lot more strict. Playing in other states there are a lot of fans (in attendance) where our games are kind-of like a practice where there’s no people in the gym.”

Oftentimes, the players can feel the pressure of following these protocols while also trying to manage playing on the court.

Sophomore player Tehani Faitau feels irritated and annoyed with having to follow all of the rules.

Freshman player Dayana Raygoza says, “I try not to think about it a lot just because I want to focus on the game, but I do feel a little pressured just because I want to stay safe.”

“For visiting teams, before they can come into the gym or travel anywhere, we have to have a temperature sheet and everyone has to take their temperature on the bus before they can enter the building,” explains CSN’s Assistant Volleyball Coach Janay Yulis. “We can not get our own water so there has to be someone designated to get our water so there are not multiple people in that area. Obviously, a mask has to be worn if you are on the bench. If you are on the court, you don’t have to wear one but as soon as you come off the court you have to wear a mask.”

Despite a brief and abnormal spring season—normally the season would be August to November whereas this season was February to April— the Lady Coyote feel more confident as it goes along.

Bautista feels more connected to this year’s team as a whole. “As far as wins and losses go, we didn’t win any conference games last year but we won our first conference game this past week and I think the chemistry on the team is a lot better.”

Faitau agrees with the team chemistry, explaining, “We are starting to mesh together and we are learning each other and trusting each other more, and I look forward to just playing more and having fun despite COVID.”

To watch games virtually click this link for information Virtual Season Tickets – College of Southern Nevada Athletics – Official Athletics Website (csncoyotes.com).

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