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BEA volleyball excited to be playing

By Staff | Oct 11, 2020

The 2020 volleyball season is set to begin. Pictured above are the five seniors who are out for volleyball this year. They are, left to right, Roxanne Quintero, Amarrah Harris, Miya Gustafson, Gabby Haaland and Mari Vargas.

The coronavirus has certainly impacted extra curricular activities at the high school level. Of the four fall sports being played at Blue Earth Area this fall, it appears volleyball may be affected the most.

“As things stand now, there will be no fans allowed for the volleyball games,” BEA head coach Donna Nawrocki stated. “And that will be different but right now I am more concerned with getting the team ready for the season.”

(Update – After this interview the state high school league is now going to allow each player to have two tickets to hand out for each volleyball game.)

BEA’s first game was scheduled to be played on Thursday, Oct. 8, against Fairmont. But due to an outbreak of the coronavirus in Martin County, Fairmont is unable to field any sports teams at this time.

So the Buccaneers are now scheduled to see their first action on Saturday, Oct. 10, when they host the Windom Eagles.

“We are still a very young team,” Nawrocki says. “But we are more experienced this year than last year.”

A look at the current varsity roster reveals almost all of the 11 players have some varsity experience.

“We are going to start the season with three seniors, four juniors, three sophomores and one freshman on the varsity squad,” Nawrocki explains. “But it does not mean the members on the varsity team won’t change during the year.”

There is a reason the BEA coach says changes could happen during the season.

“We have some great competition going on between the girls,” Nawrocki comments. “It serves to make the girls and the team better.”

The three senior girls on the varsity squad are Gabby Haaland, Mari Vargas and Miya Gustafson. Joining them are juniors Brita Hougen, Maci Frommie, Liz Beeler and Emma Langager. There are also three sophomores on the squad. They are Eloise Blair, Alicia Machacek and Hayley Kalis.

The lone freshman currently on the varsity squad is Taylor Klabunde.

Nawrocki is excited to see what this year’s team can accomplish.

“They have all gotten stronger,” she notes. “Some spent time playing this summer. A majority of the players participated in open gym.”

The ‘will they, won’t they’ play situation the team has faced means the girls are not quite as far along in conditioning as normal.

“We still need to fine tune some things,” Nawrocki notes. “We did not have any scrimmages or a preseason this year, so it is different. Our players need to be very versatile and know how to play more than one position.”

In addition to no fans in the stands, the coronavirus also means the team will not switch ends after every game and will stay on the same court throughout the contest. Players on the court are permitted to wear masks but they are not required. Every player not playing must wear a mask.

“Substitutions will be different. The players have to stay away from the referee,” Nawrocki comments. “The balls will be sanitized and we will follow the Center for Disease Control guidelines.

Even with all of the changes the coronavirus requires, Nawrocki notices some things have not changed.

“The girls are so excited to be back with each other,” she says. “They are a great group of young ladies and they are just thankful and appreciative for the opportunity to participate in the sport they love.”