COVID has redefined what victories and challenges look like in the sports world, and Taylor Women’s Volleyball has felt the direct implications of this reality.
The team was going strong with a five game winning streak when they received the dreaded message that they would have to be quarantined.
“We were beside ourselves,” Coach Erin Luthy said.
This was the last thing they wanted to hear during any point in a season, but especially with such a strong streak. While the time away was difficult, they took advantage of the space to refresh and rest their bodies. No doubt timing was unfortunate, but they are grateful for the opportunity to finish a season that was cut short. They made it through quarantine, ready to take on what is next in store for them. Hopefully the upcoming seasons will have a different story.
All of the uncertainties and unknowns have presented an opportunity for the girls to come alongside each other in new ways. During quarantine, they were intentional about staying in touch, and Coach Luthy conducted individual meetings with her players, as well.
With an unexpected season behind them, Coach Luthy already has a vision for the upcoming seasons. Overall, the team was able to play nineteen games, compared to their normal 35-40 games per season. They count their blessings, as some competition schools only played eleven.
Looking forward, Coach Luthy hopes to get back to normalcy; back to the heart of being a competitive college team; back to the travelling; back to filling the gym with fans; back to home court advantage; back to practicing with recruits.
Some things you take for granted until they are no longer a luxury.
As athletes, there is so much that can be controlled. For example, how much effort you put into practice will reveal itself in the game or coaches strategically schedule certain games. But when COVID came into the picture, all the sudden so much is now out of control. What can still be controlled is the response to difficult times in life.
Coach Luthy added that, as women, the choice to respond well builds resilience and perseverance for future trials in life.
Whether in sports or not, it is important to realize when the appropriate time is to grieve loss and be thankful and move forward. Both are equally important, but there is a natural order often followed for appropriate processing. A time such as this should not stifle human emotion, but help one see how he or she best copes with disappointment.
Parents were not allowed at the team’s last game against Marian on Tuesday, Nov. 10 . For seniors, this was a tragedy, providing an opportunity for the team and coach to lift each other up and walk through raw emotions with each other.
Ultimately, Taylor Women’s volleyball seeks to grow and learn through these tough moments, pushing them to develop into a team that reflects God and ministers to others through the sport of volleyball.