Woodland Volleyball: Training With Masks On

Since day one, the Woodland volleyball team has been practicing with masks on. Even though it was difficult, they found they have gotten used to it.

“It’s not as bad as people think it is,” stated freshman athlete, Emma Swanson.

Swanson agreed with the mask movement because it allows her to feel safe and comfortable around her teammates. She gets annoyed with the masks while running because she claims it gets stuck to your face when you’re breathing heavily; however, she has found that everyone uses a different type of mask because some work better for sports depending on how athletes play.

Teammate, Cassidy Doiron, says she has mixed feelings with the mask guidelines while playing. 

“I don’t really understand why we have to wear them,” said Doiron. “But at the same time none of us are aware if we’re sick or not.”

A three-year Woodland volleyball player, Doiron is not fond of wearing masks while running but she understands the procedures that need to be followed. She claims that the masks take some time getting used to, but using them definitely became easier after the team continued to practice. She still needs mask breaks throughout the games depending on who they are playing. 

Ava Cratty, a junior-varsity player, says she usually needs to take a mask break during long games and practices. 

“Especially during long sets and volleys, it gets very hot in the gym,” Cratty states. 

Cratty wishes she did not need to wear a mask; however, she understands that she needs to wear it. She says it is definitely difficult for her to play compared to last year.  

Allyson Koliani, a senior player, agrees with Cratty and explains how playing with a mask is a lot different than past years. 

“We’re not letting it get in the way of our playing,” Koliani states.

Communication is very important while playing volleyball, Koliani says. Although, it can be hard to hear her teammates since their voices are muffled. She understands having to wear her mask indoors because the gym is less ventilated and more confined than outside. 

Mask breaks are taken during timeouts and water breaks; athletes can also step back during the game. Breaks are taken regularly so the team can control their breathing. Koliani says that the coaches call for mask breaks whenever they are needed. 

“It’s challenging,” Koliani exclaimed. “But we’re working through it and pushing to still play our best.”