The Rocky Volleyball team volleys on despite Covid-19 restrictions and their regular season being moved to the spring.
Volleyball, like most fall sports at Rocky Mountain College, had their regular season moved to the Spring semester due to Covid-19. The team hasn’t been out of the gym, though. They started the semester with weight-lifting and conditioning programs and more recently have spent their evenings practicing in the Fortin Education Center.
While the season was moved so the team could play, the games and schedule will look different. The Battlin’ Bears will only play teams in their conference and play one team per weekend. This means that they will play a different team each weekend, but play the same team both Friday and Saturday in the same place. Head Coach Yang Yang still thinks the team will get a lot of competition due to their “tough conference.”
Senior and four-year starter for the Battlin’s Bears, Natalie Hilderman, looks forward to being able to play her senior season even if it looks a bit different. Hilderman, a 6’1” setter from Red Lodge, Montana has been a key player for the team while she has attended Rocky. Hilderman says, “I am really excited for the team we have this year, we have been working hard over the last few weeks and it has been fun to be on the court together.”
Practices have been going on as planned with safety protocols outlined by the college. Each player is required to be screened before coming into practice. A google form is sent out to the players prior to practice in which they have to fill out. The form asks if the players are having any symptoms or have come into contact with anyone with symptoms; if the player is experiencing symptoms or the latter, they will not be allowed to practice. Upon entering the gym, each player also has to have their temperature checked and their mask remains on until practice starts and social distancing can be maintained.
Hilderman adds, “With the new restrictions in Montana, it is important for us to stay safe and take care of ourselves so we can return in January for the season.”
The Battlin’ Bear’s first game is set to be on Jan 29 against The Montana Tech Orediggers in the Fortin Education Center.
“We have a lot of returning players on the court, and also a lot of talented incoming players. I’m excited to coach this team.” Yang said in reference to the season ahead.