Soccer and volleyball players reflect on postponed seasons

Schedules for soccer and volleyball have yet to be released.

Junior+defender+Adam+O%27Sullivan+started+in+each+of+the+Owls%E2%80%99+16+matches+last+season+as+a+team+captain.+Photo+courtesy+of+FAU+Athletics.+

Junior defender Adam O’Sullivan started in each of the Owls’ 16 matches last season as a team captain. Photo courtesy of FAU Athletics.

Richard Pereira, Staff Writer

On Aug. 21, Conference USA announced the postponement of the seasons for soccer and volleyball from this fall to the spring of 2021.

In the aftermath, FAU’s soccer and volleyball players reflect on their thoughts regarding the postponement, how training has looked like for them, and how they will prepare for the spring of 2021.

Men’s Soccer

Adam O’Sullivan, junior defender and captain for the Men’s soccer team, said it was different for the season to be postponed because nobody wants to go over a year without playing a competitive game.

“It’s rare because with the team of players that we have in the sports that we play, everyone kind of uses college as a stepping stone to go and play at a professional level, so we kind of view ourselves and try to treat ourselves like professional players, and nobody wants to go over a year without playing a competitive game,” O’Sullivan said. “It just makes more sense because there’s a global pandemic at the end of the day.”

According to O’Sullivan, the team has to do a daily questionnaire, temperature checks, and are split into three separate groups for training, where they spend 20 minutes at each station, have their own soccer balls, and each of their three coaches takes one group since they can’t train together at the same time.

“From the captain’s point of view, I thought I was going to struggle with players’ motivations to kind of say ‘why are we still coming in every single morning? Why are we running, why are we doing fitness tests, the season is [postponed],’ but I can’t talk highly enough about the lads and how they dealt with it really. There has been no negativity,” O’Sullivan said.

O’Sullivan sees the postponement of the season as six months of preparation when other teams might be looking at it as a time to sit back and relax.

“If you look at sports like soccer, football, baseball, these are sports that you can go and make a really good living at a professional level,” O’Sullivan said. “None of us are viewing this as four years in college as a student-athlete getting treated really well with all the perks and then the career is over, you’re kind of looking at this for years to get better and get more exposure, and go and sign a professional contract.”

Women’s Soccer

Hailey Landrus, junior defender and captain for the Women’s soccer team, thinks that everyone’s health and safety comes first.

“I’m okay with it being in the spring just because I think that gives our team a lot more time to bond and get to know each other better, and hopefully, that will help us be able to perform later on,” Landrus said.

Landrus said the team does daily temperature checks and COVID-19 testing once a week, and they wear masks everywhere within the athletic facility and on campus.

“The only time we’re not wearing masks is when we’re actually training, just because that’s kind of difficult to do,” Landrus said. “The team split in half allows the numbers to stay minimal if something were to go wrong. I think it’s being taken very seriously, and our team is doing a great job.”

The postponement of the season is seen as a positive to Landrus as it gives the team more time to prepare.

“I think taking this semester nice and easy and just using this time that we have to be at our best when the spring rolls around,” Landrus said.

Women’s Volleyball

Nikki Lakman, senior setter for the Women’s volleyball team, sees the decision as the smartest and safest option they could make.

“It’s like they are asking us to be more patient in return for saving lives, so I’m all here for it,” Lakman said.

Camryn Vogler, sophomore outside hitter for the team, said the team has been listening to their coaches and staff to limit as much exposure as possible when going out while stating that training has been unique for the team.

“In the beginning, when we weren’t shut down, we were probably practicing three or four times a week, working out probably three or four times a week as well, so nothing too unusual,” Vogler said. “We really have to take it day by day and just understand that this isn’t about us; it’s about FAU, it’s about the entire program, and that we’re not only protecting ourselves but it’s way bigger than just us.”

Lakman said they have a reason why they are waiting, and they have coaches that want them to be successful in the spring, so they are confident that they will prepare them for all types of competition.

“Mentally, we just have to remember that we have both a short and a long term goal,” Lakman said. “Physically, we just have to remember to do at least one thing every day that will prepare us to be better for the next day.”

Richard Pereira is a staff writer for the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected] or tweet him @Rich26Pereira.