Post COVID-19: Trenton volleyball players talk recovery, playing again

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During the Sept. 22 volleyball game between Trenton High School and Powers Lake, the Lady Tigers killed it.

They were all over the court, and excelling in every position they played.

Right-handed players used their left hand to hit the ball and did so effectively, they hustled to reach the ball and hit it back over the net and they did not make many errors.

And by the way they played and shined on the court, one could not tell that at one point the team had COVID-19.

The Trenton High School volleyball team is in Class B, Region 8, District 15, and for the teams in the rest of their region, volleyball season started at the end of August.

But the Lady Tigers did not start their season until Sept. 15 when they played against White Shield High School.

At the start of the season members on the team caught COVID-19 and had to quarantine until they recovered.

And they did, but when they did they only had a few days of practice before playing their season opener.

Yet, despite what seemed like odds against the team, they are now 3-0 in their region and as assistant coach Tana Turcotte said in a Sept. 17 interview, “they’re winners, and winners find a way to win.”

After the Sept. 22 game, seniors (and twins) Alyssa (#12) and Alexa (#17) St. Pierre talked about what the recovery process was like and what it is like to be playing again.

“The first couple of days were kind of hard getting back after what happened because everybody was still trying to breathe,” Alyssa said. “It was really hard for everybody to still be in condition because everybody had to be home (during quarantine). We couldn’t leave. So most of us couldn’t run so it was hard to get back in to where we were before we left.”

Junior Jacee Turcotte, #5, and Senior Alisha Malaterre shared a similar sentiment and said coming back after recovering from COVID-19 was definitely hard because of all the respiratory issues.

Yet, even though they were not able to condition and train during their quarantine, when they came back nothing stopped them.

Alexa said now she thinks the entire team is getting back into the rhythm that they ended on last year and after each game, they are trying to build up their skills.

And overall, Alexa and Alyssa agreed that compared to where they were at the first game to now (just three games), they have significantly improved.

“I feel like it’s a good start from where we started at the beginning of the season with all of the things that came up,” Alexa said regarding the COVID-19 cases and recovering from that. “I think we worked our way back during practice and really worked hard.”

Alexa talked about just how hard the team works during practice. Because of their situation, they have to practice late into the evening and are determined to get as much done as they can in the time they have.

“We condition, we work on our rotations, we work on our transitioning, our blocking, we try to get every aspect of the game into however much time we have (in practice) during the night,” Alexa said.

And it seems that the hard work has paid off after winning their third straight game.

But despite being able to play again and practicing harder than ever, there is still a sense of uncertainty.

And with every cancellation they hear (like the game on Sept. 24 in Parshall), Alyssa said they are on the tips of their toes.

“We got called down to the office today (Sept. 22) and thought that was going to happen (their game getting canceled),” Alyssa said. “So every time we get called, we think it’s that and we’re literally on the tips of our toes thinking everything is going to get canceled.”

Alexa agreed with her sister, and as she nodded she looked down and said “Everything is penciled in at this point.”

However, regardless of what happened to the team, how the season started or how it might go, Malaterre and Jacee said right now they have to focus on playing their game.

And more than anything, all four of them at separate times agreed that it is amazing to be playing again and the feeling is great.

“We just worked really hard during practice and we just had our mind on these couple of games and we just want to get out there and play,” Malaterre said.



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