As a part of the new safety measures brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, the Benedictine volleyball team has decided to wear masks during practices and games.
After the NAIA announced what the season was going to look like during the pandemic and Benedictine laid out their mitigation plan, which included a campus-wide mask mandate, the volleyball team chose to follow suit.
Head Coach Erin Cooper explained the decision.
“Our athletic trainer has asked us to wear masks [during practices], so we did,” Cooper said.
Once games began to start, Cooper met with the team to see where everyone was at with wearing masks during competition.
“I wanted to get a feel as to where their headspace was with wearing masks, and they were very adamant that they practice with them on, they feel like they could play with them on,” Cooper said.
Aretha Victalino, senior, explained the decison.
“We just decided to do it. We knew that if we wore masks, our chances to be in quarantine would be lower. We wear them to keep all of us safe and to keep the whole program safe,” the senior said.
Haylie Dickerson, junior, echoed Victalino’s sentiment.
“We knew that masks gave us the best chance to play so [choosing to wear them] was an easy decision,” the junior said. “The only challenging time with the masks was the first couple practices but we have adapted really well. The masks are basically part of our uniforms now.”
As the decision to wear masks while playing is up to individual teams and is not mandated by the NAIA, most of the time the Ravens’ opponents are not wearing masks. All players and staff must wear masks while on the sidelines.
The Ravens are 7-7 this season as a doubleheader against awaits against William Penn and Columbia tonight.
“We’re feeling very optimistic and grateful for every day ahead of us this season,” Dickerson said.