JOANNE LEE & SARAH WUELLNER, Sports Editor & Copy Editor—COVID-19 has changed the way sports are played.

Nonetheless, teams have been able to find ways to stay connected and improve their skills.

This semester has been a particularly interesting year for the incoming freshmen who have started their college experience in the midst of a pandemic, but many students have found ways to make the most of their experience, including the volleyball team. Although the team will not be competing in the fall, they are hopeful to compete in the spring.

Girls volleyball team coach and Assistant Professor of Health, Exercise, and Sport Studies (HESS) Carter Cassell spoke on the freshman class as a “hard working group who have been integrating well into the program. They have a strong commitment to getting better and they are already making a positive impact in our gym. Most importantly, they are a group of good people that represent the values we strive for in our program.”

The Denisonian had the chance to talk to two freshmen, Brooke Bosart and Kirby Mackinnon, on their experiences so far.

Bosart ‘24 expressed her excitement in the chance to get close with the team and improve her skills.

“Although it is a competitive culture, my favorite part about being on the team is how genuine and supportive the people are.”

Order left to right: Emma Goss ‘24, Sophia Sobota ‘24, Brooke Bosart ‘24, Corinne Boyd ‘24, Maddie Kurtz ‘24, and Kirby Mackinnon ‘24.

Mackinnon ‘24 spoke similarly on the culture of the team that spoke out to her as her favorite aspect.

“Even though we did not have a normal pre-season, we found ways to bond as a team, whether it was during meals or gatherings outside.”

The team is aware of the COVID regulations on campus, and take the campus compact seriously, striving to be campus leaders as a program to keep the Denison community safe and healthy.

Brooke Bosart ‘24 (left) and Kirby Mackinnon ‘24 (right)along with the volleyball team has had to adjust to a new normal for practices with COVID-19 regulations.

Coach Cassell talked about some of the precautions they have been taking, “wearing masks at every practice and lift. Playing a sport is not the easiest thing to do, but our team has been awesome at adjusting to the ‘new normal.’”

The “new normal” has been a term that has been thrown around frequently, especially during this time, but the team reiterated how grateful they are just to be back on campus and practicing as a team.

Mackinnon ‘24 is most excited “about getting stronger as a team and helping each other to get better” and Coach Cassell conveyed similar thoughts of being “excited to continue to work with players and see their growth throughout the course of the year.

I think the fall will be a great time for individual player development and a chance for us to really focus on the small things.

Even though the pandemic has made campus look a bit different this year, the tight knit group and relationships that are at the core of what we do haven’t changed.”