Editor’s note: All athletic practices have been paused as a result of Bradley University’s two-week quarantine.
Despite the indefinite postponement of the season, the Bradley Volleyball team is back into its routine.
The team returned to practice this week and picked up right where it left off. Overall, the plan is for players to get re-accustomed to the game they spent five months away from. Head coach Carol Price-Torok is glad the team is finally back together and plans to use practices to improve individual skills.\
“I think, mentally, it’s just great to be together,” Price-Torok said. “We’re just using this as training time to get better individually, to get better as a team.”
A goal Price-Torok set out for the team is to get reps and build passing chemistry, while also bringing incoming players up to speed.
“We’re trying to take advantage of being in the gym with each other, getting our freshmen integrated into our systems and just being really purposeful about where we left off in our training this past spring,” Price-Torok said.
Sophomore Karagan Coggin said practice is being treated just like it would in a normal season.
“Everything is completely normal,” Coggin said. “It’s like we’re having a season, or having a season all over again.”
However, there is one big difference for the time being. Instead of practicing in one team-wide group, the team must now practice in two separate groups. This allows the team to work on their individual skills instead of relying on competitive skills. Coggin said the team is still adjusting to group practices.
“We’re just kind of working more individually than we are as a team, so it’s hard to compete,” Coggin said. “We’re not allowed to play as much as we like.”
With the season being indefinitely postponed by the Missouri Valley Conference, all preparations have shifted toward potential competition early next year.
“Our mentality right now is we’re treating it like it’s the spring season,” Price-Torok said.
Under normal circumstances, the team would report to practice two weeks before games begin. The shift toward a spring season will allow more time for the team to prepare for competition. Price-Torok believes it will provide an advantage for the group.
“The spring season may be a little bit shorter, so I think we will be able to maintain for longer,” Price-Torok said. “We have all this time just like basketball, baseball [and] softball to prepare to actually play.”
Coggin adamantly believes that once the season arrives, the team will be geared up for great results.
“We are going to play, and we are going to succeed in the spring,” Coggin said.
But for now, the game schedule is vacant with no action for the foreseeable future. Despite an uncertain future, Price-Torok stressed that the players must stay positive as they evolve with the times.
“The biggest hurdle for us right now is to continue to have a mindset of positivity, to take advantage for the time that we get together, and in the gym, and use it to the best of our ability.”