By James Malamas
The Arizona Interscholastic Association (AIA) passed a vote that allowed Fall sports to continue as planned last week.
After a long and suspenseful wait due to COVID-19, the AIA Executive Board held a vote last Wednesday to determine the immediate future of high school sports in Arizona. Sports were permitted to return to play with updated Sports Medicine Advisory Committee guidelines.
“I am so thankful we are playing this season,” Northwest Christian women’s volleyball coach Jenna Hope said. “I feel it is important for the girls to be able to do something they love.”
All sports began practices Sept. 7, and volleyball will begin their first games during the week of Sept. 21. With the volleyball club season being canceled due to Covid-19, there has been a longer break from competition than the players are used to. Coach Hope knows that now that they are cleared to play, it is time to get to work.
“But now that we are able to have practice again we are really focused on our goals,” Hope said. “This last week we have had some great practices because the girls have been waiting to get in the gym since club season was canceled.”
At Northwest Christian, the Crusaders are coming off a season last year in which they won the 3A State Championship. With the majority of their team returning from last year, they have high aspirations for this season.
Coach Hope knows how important it is for her team to be back together. Not only for practices and competing, but for each other.
“We all have been separated for too long and it is important for us to come back together,” Hope said. “Volleyball is more than a sport, it is a community.”