The journey back to state volleyball


Kaitlyn Robinson

Players from the PV volleyball team huddle up during their semifinal game against Ankeny on Nov. 4, 2020, at the Alliant Energy PowerHouse in Cedar Rapids, IA.

Addi Steele, Photo Manager

Once the Pleasant Valley volleyball team received approval to have their season, the girls adjusted to the CDC guidelines and made it to the state tournament once again.

In 2019, the team maintained an impressive record of 30-6 for their season, but fell in the semifinals against the Valley Tigers from Des Moines. The girls wanted redemption from that loss and were determined to make the state tournament in 2020 once again.

With COVID-19 unexpectedly taking over the world in the start of 2020, the path back to the state tournament for the PVHS volleyball team would be different.

Senior athlete on the team, Emily Wood, noted how COVID-19 had changed not only volleyball, but the team’s world outside of volleyball as well. “We had to be more careful outside of volleyball and be more cautious of who we were around and where we were at,” Wood explained. “We also had to prepare ourselves for wearing masks at all times, both mentally and physically.” 

However, head coach Amber Hall had an optimistic outlook on having the season during the pandemic. “We started the year with a little bump in the road, but it just made all of us work harder to achieve the goals we set for ourselves,” Hall said.

Despite the issues with the pandemic, the girls retained the right mentality to be successful. “We also had to have the mindset that we deserved to be ranked third in the state and we had the talent and leadership to go win a state championship,” Wood expressed.

Throughout the season the team worked hard to end with a record of 21-2. The Spartans once again made it to the state tournament, but fell to the Ankeny Hawks in the semifinals. 

Hall was thankful for the opportunity to have a season and to coach the girls to another successful year. “As a program we pride ourselves on making every rep count, focus on the opportunity to play the game we love and leaving it all out on the court,” Hall stated. “This year made us really appreciate all of these values we have as a program.”

The athletes on the Spartan volleyball team were able to leave this season having reached the state tournament once again, this year amid the pandemic. The seniors left their mark by leading a team to back-to-back playoff runs, while the next group of athletes will be ready to work towards reaching the state tournament once again.