Oakville volleyball endures a season full of rules and regulations


Avery Neal

OHS volleyball celebrates winning a point against Mehlville on Oct. 29.

Imagine playing your favorite high school sport without any fans. The OHS volleyball team knows what this is like. 

Due to COVID restrictions, the team played its first five matches without spectators (only players, coaches, and trainers). However, on Oct. 12, the girls volleyball program received an email from head coach Lucas Allen that spectators would be able to attend games.

Although rules differ from school to school, the two-spectator rule remains in place. For home games, the team is given two vouchers to take home to parents or family members. For away games, there are a variety of ways the fans have to get into matches, including using QR codes and screening at the door. 

“Covid definitely threw a wrench in the season, so having spectators makes it feel like a normal year even though this year has been everything but normal,” says Erin Herberholt, (11).

All three levels had to start off the season unsure of what was to come. Herberholt explained that one of the most challenging parts of the season was practicing with the uncertainty that the team would even get to play any games, so now it’s nice to see things get somewhat back to normal. 

Herberholt says the addition of spectators has definitely helped her and the other players by motivating them to play well and prove their skill. On the flip side, the increasing number of people watching can be nerve wracking when compared to the quiet solace of the gym earlier in the season. Herberholt also explains that only having two spectators is much different than in years past. 

“At the beginning of the season having no spectators was definitely a big change,” she said. “Volleyball is a well attended sport for Oakville, I personally think, so going from packed stands to having just JV and freshman (players) cheering was different.”

The freshmen this year, however, have no grasp on how the season should really look. Natalie Johnson (9) says her first season was “different than I thought because it was so short and went by super fast.” 

Typically the volleyball team has a season stretching from August to November. However this year the season started a month later in September, and the regular season ended on Oct. 23.

The girls entered this week’s district tournament with a 10-1 record (see related story).