SAN MARCOS – Due to a combination of the COVID-19 pandemic and more state-wide closures, many sports have been put on hold. Palomar College’s men’s and women’s volleyball are no exception.
Women’s volleyball coach, Karl Seiler, gave an inside look into the upcoming season, noting the overall uncertainty and players’ dampened spirits.
“Right now, there is not much direction from the State governing board [CCCAA] or the college on whether or not we will be competing,” said Seiler.
At the moment, women’s indoor volleyball will be participating at the beginning of spring until April. Afterwards, beach volleyball will participate from April to the middle of June.
Both the men’s and women’s volleyball teams are currently meeting online to do conditioning workouts or hold meetings. Once the teams are allowed to return to campus, face-to-face practices will be held from 7 to 10 a.m.. If they are not allowed back, they will meet via Zoom for workouts and strategy.
“It’s been very frustrating not being able to practice in a face-to-face setting for both the student and coaches,” said Seiler. He continued, “It has been difficult, to say the least, to stay positive and engaged for the students who are used to meeting and competing every day.”
Seiler stated that there has been 12 to 15 women that have shown interest in playing, but it has been difficult with the way the pandemic is going.
Another hurdle that the coaches have faced is the women have not been able to compete since last March. The appeal of having to take another conditioning course online is not attractive to them, along with no guarantee that they will be able to actually compete this season.
“Morale is low and students may find other areas of their life to work at until there is some certainty of them being able to play,” said Seiler.
In case of returning to campus, the State, CCCAA and National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) have set fourth strict protocols that the college sports teams will need to adhere to. These protocols are specific guidelines that every team will have to follow in addition to testing.
“Really too specific to list them all, but everyone should know that they are extremely specific to protect the safety of all involved,” said Seiler.
It is uncertain at this point how many other schools in the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference are competing. As of now, Imperial Valley has opted out due to the COVID-19 situation in its area, including Inland Empire’s entire conference.
Dec. 18 is the date set for fall sports teams to opt-in or opt-out of competition. The second opt in or out date will be in February for spring sports, which would compete the second half of the semester.