Last Thursday, Unalaska's High School volleyball team gathered for a media day event.
Head Coach Rachel Peter said the event was a chance to improve team bonding for the players who have been unable to travel or get together like they normally would due to COVID-19 health regulations.
"It was a lot of fun," said Peter. "We got to hang out with each other, and [the players] got to take their pictures. We can't fly out a photographer, [but] we were able to take a team picture, and it was just something fun to do — to be a team, and have a little bit of normalcy in a crazy year."
Peter said the players got to put on their uniforms — something they haven't had much reason to do this season as they haven't competed in any games against other teams. And Spanish teacher Hannah Vowell joined them to take photos.
With seven seniors on the team and a lot of uncertainty in previous weeks as to what the season would look like, Peter said she wanted to make the year memorable, even though the team won't be competing.
"A couple weeks ago, they finally made the statement that they were canceling the state [championships]," said Peter. "And it was just a lot of unknowns, a little bit of hope, and then just a big shut door. So for me, the hardest part was [wondering] should we prepare to maybe travel? Is there going to be anything? Is the season going to be pushed [back]? And then [we got] that final shut door of 'okay, it's just us — so how can I make this fun for everybody?'"
Peter said she arranged scrimmages against the staff, one of which parents and family have attended, and she has been incorporating more games into practices to help keep morale up. But overall, she said the team has been working hard.
"They're about as good as the rest of the world right now," said Peter. "It's tough right now to be positive in general. But a lot of them have been trying, they've been learning, and they're still listening to me. They've been very coachable."
Next week, the junior high and high school volleyball teams will be competing in their annual crab pot tournament. According to Peter, two family members per player will be allowed to attend the tournament.