The West Burlington High School volleyball team lost a heartbreaker to Notre Dame on Tuesday night at Father Minett Gymnasium.
As it turns out, that wasn’t the only heartbreaking loss of the season for the Falcons.
On Friday morning, the plug was pulled on the West Burlington volleyball team’s season because of COVID-19-related issues.
West Burlington ends the season with an 18-4 record and champions of the SEI Superconference South Division.
Central Lee (22-7) will receive a bye into the Class 3A regional quarterfinals and play at ninth-ranked West Liberty (23-6) at 7 p.m. Wednesday.
West Burlington will be left to wonder what might have been after one of the best seasons in school history.
“We are cancelling Monday’s match against Central Lee for COVID-related reasons,” West Burlington Athletics Director Jeff Housel said Friday morning. “Because of the number of positives and quarantines and those that are symptomatic, we won’t have enough players to play in the postseason. We called the state and asked what are options were. They told us that if we couldn’t play on the scheduled date, it goes as a bye. So the high school volleyball season is over.”
The Falcons withdrew from Saturday’s Fairfield tournament and Holy Trinity JV tournament.
The chips began to fall on Wednesday when the possibility of COVID-19 positivity cases arose. The players were tested and the results came back Friday morning.
“It’s been going on since Wednesday when we identified some players who were showing symptoms,” Housel said. “When you have an indoor sport like volleyball where you are competing on the floor, unless everyone is wearing a mask on the floor and on the bench, if you have any positive cases on the team, you are probably going to have to shut down the team.”
It was an abrupt end to the season for seniors Riley Cline, Raven Messamaker, Jada Wiseman and Sydney Marlow. Marlow was in the midst of perhaps the best individual season in school history, averaging 4.9 kills, 5 digs and 0.3 blocks per set with 26 ace serves.
“It’s a tough end for the seniors. They had a great season,” Housel said. “We’re glad we got the regular season in. They are just the third team in school history to win a conference championship. Their names will be on the wall for the rest of time.”