LOWELL, Mich. — The season started with them practicing outside, on the track next to the football field. The season will end far later then they ever imagined, but the Lowell volleyball team is glad for the opportunity.
Girls volleyball and Lower Peninsula Girls Swimming & Diving athletes were cleared to resume practice on Monday.
Participants in both sports must take part in a rapid testing pilot program created by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS). Athletes, coaches and other team personnel directly involved in practice and competition must test three times per week using BinaxNOW antigen tests that produce results within 15 minutes.
"We're taking it super seriously," said Lowell senior Jenna Reitsma. "At the end of the day, we want to play and we want to play safely. We'll do anything we can to play and keep people safe."
The State quarterfinals will resume January 12 for the 32 teams still standing. Every squad left in the tournament has had to face the same set of circumstances, so the Red Arrows know the entire field is equal. Reitsma says her team has used the last two months to rest and now they hope to avenge last years runner-up finish.
"We'll definitely keep practicing hard. We've really been focused, even in the offseason. Staying connected virtually and keeping our brains focused on what we're here for. That helped us stay engaged and be ready to come back in.
Lowell will play Portage Central at Gull Lake high school on Jan. 12th with a trip to the Div. 1 Final Four on the line.