BHSU volleyball ends challenging season

Black Hills State’s Emma Desanti, left, and Mariah Robinson attempt a block against Montana State-Billings. Pioneer file photo

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SPEARFISH  — The Black Hills State University women’s volleyball team wrapped up its spring season losing to Western Colorado three sets to one and losing three sets to none to Colorado State University-Pueblo, March 28, in Pueblo, Colo.

The women’s volleyball team saw its season moved from the fall to the spring due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The team had to fight through a lot of obstacles to get through its season.

“I thought it was a pretty big adjustment. I thought we handled it as well as we could. The biggest thing for us was the constant unknown,” said Kristin Carmichael, the Lady Jackets head volleyball coach. “Would everyone be healthy this week? Would the other team be healthy this week? Would we have our games? Would we not have our games? Would practice get moved? It was constant with those questions.”

Another adjustment for the team was playing in pods, where you would play two times a day, instead of the traditional one game each day.

“I think it’s hard to prepare for that. You can’t practice that long in a day, to get ready and have those pod type situations, but I thought it helped that we were pretty deep in our bench and we could look to other people to make an impact in those second pods,” Carmichael said.

Carmichael said this season was an up and down for the Lady Yellow Jackets.

“Definitely a little bit of a rollercoaster ride which is probably expected with all the unknowns.  I thought we started off strong, and then due to some COVID policies, we played some matches without some starters, which was different, strange. Then we kind of got back in the flow, and then had more games canceled. It was just up and down all year long,” Carmichael said.

Black Hills State finished its season 5-9 overall, and 3-9 in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference.

The RMAC Tourney is April 8-11, but Black Hills State will not be in it.

“We have some matches that we would like to make up, but it didn’t happen, with the scheduling,” said Carmichael, citing matches that were canceled due to positive COVID-19 tests among both teams. “Playing those games would’ve helped us, but it’s stuff that is out of our control.”

The Lady Jackets prepare for a short offseason before resuming practice for its fall season, which returns to its normal schedule beginning in August.

“It’s going to be different to go from a competitive season, to a quick summer break, to another competitive season, but I think the girls are really motivated. They have some stuff that they want to do and get better at,  and they’ll have the summer to do that,” Carmichael said.

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