SPU sports scramble to organize their season

All teams at SPU will get some form of season this year, Stava says

Gabe Sta Maria, Staff Reporter

Illustration by Caitlyn Schnider

SPU student-athletes have not faced competition in nearly a year and nearly all SPU sports had their national championship cancelled by the NCAA last season.

Jackson Stava, SPU’s athletic director, and the athletic department are trying their best to find every opportunity for these athletes to play. This year, coaches of SPU rowing, track, volleyball, soccer, have the task of creating athletic schedules with the help of the athletic department. At the moment, men’s and women’s basketball are currently playing.

“The best way to describe what it has been like to schedule is it’s been a scramble,” said Stava. “From an SPU perspective, we’re trying to provide the most meaningful and significant competitive experience that we can do safely for our student athletes.”

“It’s a collaborative effort. Most of the engagement and solicitation of the other institution is done by the coaches because we want them to have a little bit of autonomy in how they schedule,” said Stava. “I’m not on my own just calling another athletic director and scheduling a game, the coaches are certainly involved.”

Head coach for SPU women’s volleyball, Abbie Wright, spoke on the process of setting up the season for her players.

“We are independently scheduling matches with other GNAC schools, whoever else can play,” said Wright in an email. “We are mainly just seeing what other schools are able to play and who is able to travel.”

Even through this different process, Wright is still happy that she is even able to face other competition.

“I am really excited about it, however, because we will be able to play more than we normally would be able to in Spring and it will really give our girls a chance to build, get better, and have something to play for,” said Wright.

Like Coach Wright, athletes are also having a new experience this Spring season. Freshman women’s soccer player Lauren Forster spoke on how the season is looking for her team this year.

“We can’t leave the state of Washington for any of our games, so we won’t be able to play all of the teams that we would regularly play,” said Forster in an email. “We don’t know what our spring schedule will look like yet.”

Forster explained how the women’s soccer team has scrimmages coming up and a possible game on Jan. 26th against Gonzaga University, as well as a game on Jan. 30th against Pacific Lutheran University which are both at home.

Forster also spoke on how her coaches are managing this season’s schedule and her mentality in a very unorthodox season.

“I believe everyone is doing their best to make sure we get as many games in as possible while still remaining safe,” said Forster. “I think a lot of us were prepared to not have a season at all, so I’m personally really thankful for any opportunity we get to play a game.

With every sport being affected this season, Stava acknowledges the impact the coaches and players are facing within their seasons and how he is hopeful that all sports will have the opportunity to play this school year.

“What I am most hopeful about and most grateful for today is the fact that we’re back playing,” said Stava. “I really do believe that before this academic year is over, we’re going to be able to play in all of our sports.”