E.A. Sports Today

PV, Saks sidelined

Volleyball teams sent into COVID-19 quarantine after positive tests revealed; coaches to miss Wednesday’s County Tournament seeding meeting

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

Pleasant Valley and Saks became the latest Calhoun County varsity volleyball teams to go under COVID-19 quarantine after both were found to have one positive test within their respective ranks.

That brings to four the number of volleyball teams within the county schools system to shut it down for two weeks because of the virus. White Plains returned to action last Thursday night and Weaver came back Monday after being quarantined.

They are expected to be released from quarantine Sept. 26, one week before the start of the Calhoun County Tournament, but in time to play in their respective area tournaments to qualify for regionals. The Lady Raiders have an area match scheduled for Sept. 28 at Weaver. Saks’ first match back will be Sept. 29 against Woodland and ASD.

“We’re missing some area games – two area games – a tournament and some really good competitive games these next two weeks that we’re not going to have now,” said PV coach Dana Bryant, whose team is currently 11-3. “There’s no way to replace that. I’m going to encourage my girls to keep in shape at home. I’ll probably give them something to do at home for two weeks, something to keep them in shape, trying to keep them ready to play. That’s about all we can do.

“I was really hoping we wouldn’t (have to face a quarantine), but I knew it was a possibility.”

The Calhoun County Volleyball Tournament seeding meeting is Wednesday in the Saks cafeteria and neither team’s head coach will be able to attend due to the quarantine. The virus also will impact the way the tournament will be staged.

The junior high tournament will be reduced to a single-loss elimination event. The varsity tournament will be staged at multiple venues during the Oct. 3 preliminary rounds, then move to Saks for the afternoon semifinals. The championship match is still scheduled for Jacksonville State Oct. 5 at a time to be determined.

In the varsity event, the Nos. 1 and 2 seeds will host preliminary matches Oct. 3 at 10:30 a.m. and noon, while the Nos. 3 and 4 seeds will host matches at 9 a.m., 10:30 a.m. and noon. The four survivors will then assemble at Saks, where the 2-3 venue winners will play at 3 p.m. and the 1-4 venue winners will play at approximately 4:30 p.m.

Right now, it’s a 14-team tournament.

“I think we’re going to be good; I know we’re going to be safe, I’m going to see to that,” Saks principal Jody Whaley, the host principal for this year’s County Tournament program. “The question is who (if any) gets shut down for two weeks due to some kid getting tested positive.”

It is rather interesting the majority of the programs in the county shutting down for quarantine are volleyball. The Weaver football program also confirmed Monday it was forfeiting its next two games due to COVID-19.

“I don’t think it has to do with volleyball,” Whaley said. “It’s what are the kids doing when they’re not at football or volleyball, where they’re getting it.”

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