MEAD – The announcement came on June 11 and it was music to Mead volleyball Coach Keshia Havelka’s ears.
The NSAA announced that beginning on June 18 volleyball teams would be able to participate in camps, clinics and summer leagues in preparation for the 2020 high school volleyball season.
“It was a huge relief. You are hopeful, but at the same time there are so many unknowns,” said Havelka.
Havelka is entering her 10th season as head coach at her alma mater.
She has taken three teams to the state tournament and has won 65 percent of her games (166-89).
The abrupt end of the school year and the cancellation of the club volleyball year has the veteran coach in an unfamiliar position heading into the summer camp season.
“The last time any of the girls have played in a game was Nov. 2 of last year. It’s been a really long time since some of them have touched a volleyball,” Havelka said.
Havelka is hopeful that her team, made up mostly of veteran players, will be able to catch up throughout the month of July and the first three weeks of August.
The Raiders will open the season on Aug. 27 at Bishop Neumann High School.
July will be a busy month for the Raiders. Their first team camp is set for July 9.
Many of the camps are limiting the number of players each team can bring, as directors are trying to conform to the new directed health measures associated with COVID-19.
That could prohibit Havelka from getting a good look at her eight incoming freshmen in a scrimmage type setting.
“That’s a concern. Camps would be a time when they could adjust and get used to the speed of the game,” she said.
Another concern for Havelka is her team’s state of physical conditioning.
Gymnasiums and weight rooms re-opened on June 1 and the Raider volleyball players have been working on getting into shape.
“That is where you can get a good gauge of your team leadership. I have some girls who have worked hard to stay in shape and as a coach you can see that,” Havelka added.