All schools and their teams have to deal with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic in their own way, but indoor sports, such as volleyball, seem to have been hit the hardest.
The East Hampton girls volleyball team, for example, is missing three players this season after they decided not to come out for the team due to COVID. It’s a situation no one can do anything about, as Bonac head coach Alex Choi said on Monday. All teams can do is move forward as best they can.
“I can’t blame them for not playing. They just didn’t feel safe and I understand. I just have to work around it,” Choi said. “I had a lot of juniors try out for the team this year, so they’re filling right in.
“Lack of practice is our biggest issue in such short of a season,” he added. “We’ve only had six practices so far. I wish I had a full season with them. I know they could be good.”
The Bonackers picked up their first victory of the season, 3-2, at home over Shoreham/Wading River on March 10. After dropping the first two sets of the match, 25-21, 25-20, East Hampton stormed back to win the next three sets 25-20, 25-19, 25-22.
Senior Hannah Hartsough led the offense with 10 kills, while junior Sarah Morgan had eight. Both Hartsough and Morgan had five service aces apiece as well. Junior libero Brooke Wittmer led the team with nine digs, junior setter Faith Fenelon had 24 assists and junior Nora Conlon had three blocks.
“They started off a little weak, but they started waking up, per se, after the first two matches,” Choi said. “They started to say to each other, ‘We should start talking more,’ and from that point on it looked like really good volleyball. They were playing really good.
“Honestly, if they just communicate with each other and move around, I think they’ll be fine.”
The win came between a pair of 3-0 losses at Elwood/John Glenn on March 8 and at Mount Sinai this past Saturday. Both of those teams, along with Bayport/Blue Point, appear to be the favorites in League V this season, but Choi likes his team and expects it to pick things up as the short season progresses.
Due to the shortened season, teams play practically every other day. Go to sectionxi.org for up-to-date schedules.