Masked Volleyball: The Steps to an Effective and Safe Volleyball Season

Photo taken outside of Lumbee Guaranty Bank Court. PN Photo//LaRuth Anderson.


The uncertainty of the 2020-21 season concerns many college athletes and spectators alike. While coaches are making the safety of the players their main priority, one of the many coaches, UNCP Volleyball Head Coach Ellen McGill, looks at what the future might hold. 


Like basketball and football, volleyball is a sport that requires the players to touch the ball, whether it's passing or serving it to other players. McGill and her team have been working hard to ensure a safe season upon its return. Unfortunately, the season may not take place until the Spring of 2021.



McGill said that once her athletes begin practicing, they will be required to wear a mask, and sanitation standards will become a top priority. A big challenge that the volleyball team has faced this semester is the struggle of social distancing. "The girls are a unit, it's like one big family," said McGill. With social distancing, the girls remain a unit, but a socially distant unit now. 


Another change for McGill's athletes is daily screenings. Each day, her players are required to fill out a questionnaire and have their temperature checked by a staff member from the Athletic Center. 


With the Spring 2020 semester transitioning to online, there wasn’t an issue with recruiting. McGill and her team had started recruiting high school seniors during November of 2019. McGill says that she isn't expecting any new players until the Spring of 2021 and is excited about the team’s future. 


Students should expect the volleyball team to be full of excitement and energy when the season starts again. Like many freshmen, Zhaniah Carmichael is ready to see the Braves take on their opponents, especially with the excitement from the ever-growing anticipation. "My brother told me so many positive things about UNCP athletics, I'm excited to see and experience it for myself." 

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