Every new season brings something a little different, but this year is even a deviation from that.
“With COVID-19, practices, of course, are different,” Iowa School for the Deaf volleyball coach Katrina Landolt said. “We have a hand sanitizer station in place so that we can use it before and after we touch the ball, the water bottles, and anything really. We are also sanitizing everything that we use, like the balls and equipment for an example, after use and social distancing as much as possible.”
While the new normal of 2020 has made things a bit more complicated, it’s a price athletes and coaches are willing to pay to play.
“The mood has been uplifting, positive and fun. I think the players are pretty comfortable because they are basically the same team from last year,” Landolt said. “We only had two seniors last year. This year, we have one. This group of players will be growing together as a team for the next few years. I do believe that the players are excited to be playing.”
That one senior is Kali Nipper, who will be relied on for her production on the court as well as as a leader and mentor to younger players.
“She is our hitter, who is a hard worker and a motivated, positive player,” Landolt said. “She strives to practice her skills until she masters it and tries new things as well.”
While ISD has a few familiar faces, they will also be working in plenty of newcomers into this year’s rotation.
“We do have returning players, Nichole Jergens, a senior, who has been working on her passing skills and Britany Adame, who works hard and is a good supporter of her team,” Landolt said. “We have a lot of young players this year. Ali Sellwood will be taking up a big responsibility as an 8th grader. She will be starting and be our setter this year. I am confident as the season goes on, she will definitely grow as a player. She is a cheerful girl who wants to learn. Another young player is Emma Wigington, last year she was one of our best servers. She continues to improve her skills and is a good listener.”
Judy Jethil, Madison McAninch and Kynnedi Anderson are also players Landolt says continue to work, learn and progress.
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