Although the men’s volleyball season doesn’t start until next spring, the future of the 2021 season is still up in the air.
The team, however, is still keeping its hopes up despite all sports being postponed after the Big West Conference issued a statement on July 29, announcing that fall sports competition would be canceled through the end of the calendar year.
“It’s certainly not the way anyone wanted to start the school or even start our fall volleyball training, but it is what it is,” head coach Alan Knipe said. “We are in this situation and we can’t control that right now. We can only control how we’re responding to what we are allowed to do.”
Not being able to practice face-to-face in the campus facilities has not deterred the team,, but coach Knipe hopes that he and his players can get back to practicing in the gymnasium soon.
“As a player or a coach, during something like this, there’s certainly lots of things to keep us busy,” Knipe said. “But in reality, the thing that we love and are passionate about [is] being in our gym with our culture and our guys. We don’t get the chance to do that right now, so it’s difficult.”
To keep the team busy, coach Knipe has built a playbook where athletes build the structure of their team handbook based off of individual job descriptions and system descriptions.
“Of course I hope we can get back as soon as possible, and hopefully that’s sooner than later,” senior opposite Simon Andersen said.
Andersen said that he and his teammates have been communicating through Zoom to make up for not seeing each other every day in practice.
“Being around all the guys is a huge part of what I’ve been used to at Long Beach,” Andersen said. “I think it helps me through the academic side as well just to have the time and the practice gym where you get to get your tension out and be focused on volleyball and nothing else.”
Senior outside hitter Ethan Siegfried is hoping he’ll be able to play his senior year, as he’s hoping he can go out on a strong note.
“Being a senior, it’s fun being on a team and you know how the team works,” Siegfried said. “Going into a 50-50 season, I’m still trying to enjoy being a senior on the team, enjoy the team dynamic and get to know all the guys on the team.”