Volleyball returns for the fall season

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Photo Courtesy of Haley Hewitson, Instagram

The Red Knights celebrate on the court after a point.

Michael Paulison, Staff Writer

Earlier this year, for the first time in a long time, Minnesota’s high school football and volleyball seasons were postponed until spring. After this decision, there was an outbreak of upset students, parents, players, and fans trying to get these sports to return. Then last week the MSHSL decided they’d have another meeting, and in a landslide decision, they decided to bring these sports back.

Most people on the MSHSL board believe it has been made clear that volleyball can be played without putting participants in danger. BSM Head Coach Michael Becker believes proof for this comes from participation in summer volleyball. “A lot of the decision was based on having summer scrimmages, practices, club practices and competitions which showed enough evidence that we can play volleyball safely,” Becker said.

After the MSHSL decided to bring volleyball back, a lot of players joined club teams and other fall activities. The league’s decision to revoke the postponement has caused challenges for players, coaches, and clubs. “Athletes that decided to start playing another fall sport after [high school volleyball] got postponed, now will have 2-3 weeks of overlap with their competition and practice schedules,” Becker said.

I’m really excited, everyone will have a lot more enthusiasm this year as we realized what it’s like not to have a season.”

— Alexis Brixius

This conflict between playing for club teams has presented a difficult decision for players. “The MSHSL is making the athletes choose whether they play for their club or tryout for high school, there you have a major financial commitment for parents to play club; it’s not cheap,” Becker said.

BSM is ready to have volleyball back this fall. Senior volleyball captain Alexis Brixius thinks players have learned to appreciate their privilege of being able to play volleyball. “I’m really excited, everyone will have a lot more enthusiasm this year as we realized what it’s like not to have a season,” Brixius said.

Having volleyball return to the fall can have its advantages. “It opens up the opportunity for the rest of the year for people to play club, as high school usually is in the fall, and the rest of the year is for improving and possible recruiting opportunities,” Brixius said.

With the season coming back, many fans and family members want to know if they are able to attend these games, but as of now the guidance from the MSHSL is no fans in attendance which includes family members. Even with these obstacles, the players are happy to see each other and just play the sport they love. Though everyone is excited to play, the last-minute decision for volleyball puts coordinators in a tough position. “Planning a season for five high school teams in one week is a little stressful,” Becker said

Alexis Brixius thinks volleyball deserves a season just as much as these other fall sports that were never moved. “I think that volleyball is a fairly safe sport, regarding being socially distant, especially compared to the sports that stayed, so I was confused when they postponed it, just because it was indoors,” Brixius said.

Players look for normalcy in sports when this year has been anything but normal. “We won’t be able to do as many activities as a team; I’m sure we will be able to team bond on our own, but it will be harder hanging out as close as normal,” Brixius said.