College of the Rockies (COTR) has announced that the winter 2021 season for men’s and women’s Avalanche volleyball has been cancelled.
Pacwest announced Tuesday that they would be shutting down competitive action for the winter semester, citing the health, safety and well-being of student athletes, coaches and communities.
The Pacwest board had previously cancelled the fall 2020 season in response to the pandemic, said COTR in a press release.
“Though this outcome does not come as a surprise we, of course, are disappointed that our student athletes and coaches did not have the opportunity to compete in the 2020 – 2021 season. That said, we completely support the decision made by the Pacwest Board,” said Cori Andrichuk, Manager of Student Life and Athletics. “The health and safety of our student athletes, coaches, trainers, and communities is always our top priority. We will continue to follow the guidance of the Provincial Health Officer, the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training, as well as the PACWEST Board in determining when a safe return to competition is appropriate.”
Luckily, the Avalanche teams will be able to continue to train and focus on their future goals, says the school.
“Our plan moving forward remains the same as this first semester, hopefully with added exhibition matches,” said Bryan Fraser, Avalanche women’s coach. “We will carry on with our athlete development structure and continue to push each other outside of our comfort zones in order to fully prepare our athletes for the 2021/22 season. Our objective is to compete for a 2021/22 Pacwest championship, and we will use these next four or five months of training to bring us closer to this goal.”
Alex Avery, who is an Avalanche player, says it is disappointing to hear of the cancellation, but the teams knew it was a possibility.
“I like to look at the positives and this allows us to move our focus to the 2021 season and provides a unique opportunity for us to grow as athletes and as a team,” Avery said.
Fellow Avalanche athlete Katie Friesen echoed Avery’s statement, saying that she’s not discouraged.
“The college has continued to provide a safe and supportive environment for its athletes during this time and I am so thankful. Our coaches have been working hard to develop our skills while still keeping us safe and healthy and I look forward to the future.”
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