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Bend High volleyball team excited to start season, despite changes

(Update: Video, comments from Coach Cooper, Peter Weber of OSAA)

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- A little more than a week after Deschutes County moved into the High-Risk category, Bend High began their volleyball tryouts.

One week from Friday, they have their first out-of-conference match, against Sisters.

Bend High volleyball head Coach Kristin Cooper said they are jumping right in.

"So it's been a very quick pre-season,” Cooper said Thursday. 

The Oregon Scholastic Activities Association approved girls volleyball as one of the fall sports allowed to participate in counties at high risk or lower.

Cooper knows that being the first sport to play indoors this year will be a challenge.

"It's going to be an adjustment,” Cooper said. “It's going to be different. It's hard to know, not being there before."

At the moment, there will be no fans allowed at matches, and girls will have to wear masks during the games. 

Also, after the freshman and JV matches finish, both teams will have to empty the gym to allow the entire facility to be sanitized and cleaned before the varsity match can start.

The game routine isn’t the only change.

Out of the typically competitive, eight-team Mountain Valley Conference,  Bend, Mountain View and Summit can only play each other this year, to limit travel.

"We've got to work with what we got right now, and we're just thankful for what we have,” Cooper said. “Because that is more than what other teams have, right?"

Volleyball teams in Jefferson County, still at Extreme Risk, still cannot start their season.

 Crook County, which learned Tuesday they are moving down to High Risk, is now a week behind.

Peter Weber, executive director with the OSAA says scheduling has been a big issue with all sports, but having to factor in the county risk levels has been even more challenging.

"The volleyball has been really interesting, and has created some issues with the way the guidance is set forth,” Weber said. 

The shortened season is set to end in early April, but Cooper hopes they can set the example for other indoor sports.

"To show that we can do this,” she said. “Set the calendar for those other teams that are indoor gymnasium sports, and hopefully keep things under control and COVID numbers low, so they can have a season."

Bend / Deschutes County / News / Top Stories
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Noah Chast

Noah Chast is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Noah here.

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