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Blocking the flip side of quarantine

As sport seasons are pushed back until December, teams are looking for easy and accessible ways to remain active with their teammates. Girls volleyball has found alternatives to practicing without a court or teammates.

Every Friday, head girls volleyball coach Aubrey Caires assigns volleyball related challenges to the Varsity, Junior varsity and freshman teams on Flipgrid. These challenges incorporate the three different skills of volleyball: passing, setting and hitting.

“These challenges were meant to not only test our determination to fulfill this goal, but to understand the importance of knowing this skill and how it applies when we’re playing,” opposite hitter junior Tiffany Chow said. “By doing this activity, we’re able to step into their world on a deeper level, which totally changes our perception of volleyball really as a whole.”

Each new challenge increases in difficulty and skill level as players practice their technique. For Friday Challenge #2 on August 22nd, athletes were instructed to practice hitting a volleyball, imagining they were on a court. They had to hit one ball down line and another ball at a certain angle while hitting an object.

“I’m excited to [practice with] and see everyone,” middle blocker junior Caitlin Kelley said. “My favorite part about volleyball are the friendships that I make with people that I probably wouldn’t talk to outside of volleyball.”

Aside from Friday Flipgrid Challenges, all teams work out with Caines on a zoom call either once or twice a week. They primarily work on body weight exercises such as squats, lunges and push ups.

“Because we can’t meet with each other currently due to the pandemic, it is difficult to stay motivated and get reps in,” setter sophomore Naomi Chung said. “I enjoy practicing with my teammates [in person] more because they keep me motivated and responsible for the things I can control.”

In accordance with Los Angeles County guidelines concerning social distancing and gathering, the Flipgrid challenges and workouts are intended to refine each players’ skill and strength. The Flipgrid videos help athletes re familiarize themselves with the ball while the various workouts keep them in shape for the upcoming season which is predicted to start Monday, December 14.

“I’m looking forward to making memories and hopefully having a good season with my second family,” outside hitter senior Samantha Kozlo said. “My favorite part is getting to know people that I never thought I’d be friends with and accomplishing something together whether we win or lose.”

By Matthew Au, Manager
Photo courtesy of Freda Lei