NORMAL, Ill. (WMBD/WYZZ) — Volleyball players are ready to play.
Their season starting about five months later than usual. But Illinois State coach Leah Johnson says it’s worth the wait.
“We’re definitely hungry and I think we’re a little jittery, even though we are a veteran and seasoned team,” said Johnson of the defending Missouri Valley Conference champions. “In a sense we are more prepared but we are less prepared for the environment, the situation and the timing of it.”
ISU, which hasn’t played since the fall of 2019, opens the season at Marquette on Friday. In August, the college volleyball season was moved from fall to spring with the hopes the country would have a better grip on the coronavirus pandemic.
The Illinois high school season was also moved to the spring. It is scheduled to start next month and Johnson hopes the prep players can the same opportunity to have a season that her players have.
“When you have so much time away, you want everyone to find their love for that sports again. I think it’s easier to find it when you’ve been removed from it for so long. I hope for them and the athletes in our community that everyone can continue to make the right choices to allow the athletes, the coaches, the community members, the supporters the opportunity to to enjoy that once again.”