Please let me be an athlete again

When my head coach announced that the California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) canceled fall sports, my heart instantly sunk. I didn’t realize how big of a role volleyball plays in my life until the COVID-19 pandemic stripped the fall season of my senior year.

Now, I am anxiously waiting for the CCAA to announce on Nov. 12 the continuation of sports in the spring so I can begin to feel like an athlete again. Volleyball has shaped me into the woman I am today, and without it I feel completely empty.

(Sharon Wu | The Poly Post)

The uncertainty of whether we can compete in the spring has taken a toll on my mental health. I feel anxious under all the unknowns. However, while I cannot control this situation, I can control my health and well being for the spring and that is what I am focusing on for now.

I transferred to CPP last year as a junior from Rider University to continue my academic and volleyball career. I knew Cal Poly Pomona was the perfect fit for me to grow as an individual in the classroom — and on the court. However, I only got to experience one season with the Broncos and I’m longing to experience one more.

With Division I schools competing right now under safety measures and protocols, it gives CPP athletics hope to continue competition in the spring. Plenty of schools have been successful and the CCAA should give our conference a chance. I deserve to have a senior year with my teammates and be able to compete under safety restrictions.

I would feel comfortable competing in a mask as well as getting tested for COVID frequently – if that’s what it will take to be able to play. I miss it more than anything. My team has become a sisterhood and I miss playing with them on the court.

I would gladly wake up at 6 a.m. to lift weights with my teammates, which is something I thought I would never say. I miss waking up on game day being excited to compete and perform in the sport that I love most. Something else I miss is the loud cheers from the crowd after a great hustle play.

Since the pandemic, it has been hard for me to stay motivated with online school without volleyball. All I have ever known as normal is my consistent routine of practice, games, team meetings and film, whichsometimes can be exhausting and draining, but I would do anything to have that opportunity to do it again.

Participating in a zoom call with my teammates and coaching staff once a week is always the highlight of my week. Seeing everyone’s faces and hearing their voices cheers me up. We are all in this together and have been there for each other through these difficult times.

I try to keep myself motivated by working out every day to stay in shape for the possibility of returning in January. I’ve been playing volleyball for as long as I can remember. I just want to compete, have fun and be myself one last time before I graduate. I can’t imagine not being able to step on the court one more time and represent CPP. Another season without sports would truly be a devastating loss for me.

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