In recent years, life as a volleyball player remained business as usual. Show up to the gymnasium, warm up with teammates and greet the opposing team with a high-five, wishing them luck before the match.
This season, however, has looked quite different.
Many players have been asked to adjust how they normally navigate the season.
That includes the Mountain View Toros.
“We have to wear a mask all the way up to when we hit the court to warm up. Once it is volleyball-related, we are good to go,” senior Ashley Reed said.
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Mountain View implemented new procedures to ensure their athletes can safely compete..
Players are also prohibited from making any unnecessary contact with the opposing team, be it before or after the match.
“The way we greet our opponents is by running to the 10-foot-line and wave wishing them luck,” Reed said. “It is kind of funny actually.”
Face masks must be worn by all coaches as well as referees for the duration of the match. Players on the bench must also wear a mask until they check into the game.
Spectators are limited and must practice social distancing at all times.
“It has been difficult to get tickets for our families because everybody wants to come,” senior Ellie Tingey said. “We are only allowed four tickets per player, so not everybody is able to make it from my family at times.”
The ticket policy is in place for every school in the Mesa School District.
As for transportation, the team has more flexibility than it might have had in recent years.
Typically, they would transport on bus to the opponent’s school. However, in light of the pandemic, players are required to self-transport to and from matches.
“Being able to take your own car makes it easier to get to games. I enjoy being able to go straight home after a match rather than having to take the bus back to school,” senior Brekyn Goodman said.
As the team enters its first playoff matchup on Saturday, they are preparing to have a full, healthy roster ready to play.
The Toros have not had a positive COVID-19 test all season.
“Fortunately, none of us have shown any symptoms of COVID-19, therefore we have not had to postpone any games in our regular season,” Reed said. “I think that helped us maintain our team chemistry and could be crucial going further into the playoffs.”
Keenan O'Rourke is a sports journalism major at Arizona State University covering Mountain View High School.