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W.Va. volleyball coaches are in scramble mode

Photo by Jay W. Bennett Parkersburg Catholic’s Jenna Boice sets the volleyball during a 2019 match against Fort Frye in Beverly.

PARKERSBURG — Volleyball coaches in the Mountain State are now getting a taste of what prep golf coaches already have been dealing with.

Earlier this month, the West Virginia Secondary School Activities Commission cited “consistency” as the reason golf couldn’t start on its normal date, thus losing two weeks of their season.

On a Friday, golf coaches got the new time for start dates and many were busy that weekend trying to revamp their schedule. However, the following Monday the date to start play for golf was changed again and already redone schedules had to be reworked once more.

“We had four tournaments we were supposed to go to, but we won’t be going now,” said longtime Tyler Consolidated head volleyball coach Richard Summers of Monday’s WVSSAC volleyball modifications that banned schools from playing in tournaments.

“I’ll have to redo the schedule. I don’t plan to do too much to my schedule now. It took two months during the winter. If I do it now it’s going to be a bunch more chasing coaches and phone calls and if they move it to the spring it will be a third time.”

Williamstown head coach Rachelle Cole, like others, assumed correctly that volleyball was in for a big change as part of the modifications included the wording of “regular season tournaments limited to three teams if one court and four teams if two courts.”

“I just assumed that tournaments were going to be gone for this year,” said Cole, who like everyone else will have to play duals, tris or quads. “That’s what I took it as.

“I had four tournaments on the schedule. I had eight dates I now need to fill. I was just going to call and see what other coaches are going to do.”

Another WVSSAC modification was to “suspend the coin toss” at the start of the match, but then the official could use a coin toss before a deciding third or fifth set — depending on the match type — to determine the serve-receive option.

“No one touches the coin but the official and it’s the official’s coin, but you can have it for the deciding set,” pondered Parkersburg South head coach Becky Bennett. “I’m not trying to be cynical.

“That doesn’t make any sense to me. They expect the girls not to huddle or do back slaps. I’m like have you ever watched the sport of volleyball. That’s our team. We’re traveling together and practicing together.”

Parkersburg High School head coach Erin Thorpe has been trying to get things figured out as well.

“I’m still working on it,” she admitted, “but so far I’ve got GW (George Washington), Greenbrier East, Cabell (Midland), Musselman, Hedgesville, Morgantown a bunch. I think we scheduled one with Marietta yesterday (Monday), too. It’s a work in progress.”

Another modification announced by the WVSSAC was “no switching benches between games” and that’s something Paden City head volleyball coach Jennifer Yeater is down with.

“I reviewed them because I had seen when they posted it on Facebook,” said the Wildcat boss.

“The one I’m most excited about is not changing benches. Now we don’t have to sit in other people’s butt sweat.”

Contact Jay Bennett at jbennett@newsandsentinel.com

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