Emma McGraw ’23 and Erica Desmond ’23 on How Volleyball and Equestrian Teams Adapted to COVID

5 min read

Olivia Papp ’23

Features Editor

The last time the volleyball team had a season was during the fall semester of 2019. Their regular scheduled season is in the fall. Unfortunately, with COVID, the volleyball team was exempt from games this past fall. Emma McGraw ’23 was able to offer her thoughts on her collegiate experience as a member of the volleyball team throughout her time at Trinity.

“When I didn’t have any games, I was upset because volleyball is one of my passions. I walked onto the team my freshman year, totally not expecting to make the team, but was excited when I made the cut and not only was able to pursue volleyball at the collegiate level but was also able to be embraced with an entire group of teammates who would go on to become some of my closest friends and future roommates at Trinity,” said McGraw. 

McGraw was only able to experience one competitive season in the fall of her freshman year. Not only did she think sports would be shut down once COVID happened, but she was also worried the team would become disconnected. Thankfully, despite the demise of sports with the rise of COVID, McGraw was still able to bond with her teammates through practices.

Her team was still able to practice with six people at a time despite the pandemic. “I was able to focus more on my academics as a result of COVID, which was helpful with my tough academic schedule. However, I still was not happy that we were not able to compete,” added McGraw. Now, with the pandemic slowly subsiding as more Americans are able to be vaccinated, the girls on the team get to have full team practices with all sixteen students. 

“Since we’ve all been working hard on improving our game despite no seasons, I think the girls are all ready for what this season of competition will bring,” said McGraw. This semester, the Trinity women’s varsity volleyball team will be playing Connecticut College, Eastern Connecticut State University, and Saint Joseph’s College, with a tentative match against Wesleyan University. “We never have had a season during the spring,” noted McGraw, “so it will certainly be interesting. Usually, since we are not in season at this time, we will have open gyms with just captains and no coaches. I’m interested to see the changing dynamics with the game schedule in the spring,” she stated.

McGraw relayed that she thought it was the right thing to do for the Trinity administration to have games this season. “As long as we’re all being tested and are in a controlled environment, and wearing our masks, I think we are all safe from COVID. I think this return to the bit of normalcy we once had will be better for everyone’s mental health,” she said. 

Erica Desmond ’23 is part of the equestrian team here at Trinity and has unfortunately not had a show in about a year now. “We missed our regional competitions which we showed for all year. Not having a showing was disheartening, as we weren’t able to execute what we were training for all year,” said Desmond. The team worked very hard on technique all year, making it more unfortunate that the team was unable to show off their new talents. 

“Our shows are in the fall and spring, usually on weekends. What’s interesting, is that we don’t have showings this spring despite the Trinity administration allowing all other teams to compete,” said Desmond. Equestrian is unable to compete since it is a sport that is not technically run through Trinity College, but rather through the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA).The IHSA, the organization that runs equestrian in the United States, has decided to restrict teams from competing to protect their students from COVID. “Unfortunately,” said Desmond, “Trinity has no say.

The Trinity administration is still allowing practices in order to facilitate a bond between the students and the horses. Our team may host a mock show to boost team morale in the spring.” As of now, the equestrian team is able to go down to the stables and practice once a week. “I think, hopefully, we will be back in season in the fall. I am excited to be back in season, however, we lost all of our points and regional qualifications since this is what the IHSA organization decided to do,” Desmond remarked. “All students that qualified for regionals were required to move onto the next level without having the opportunity to compete for national titles,” she added.

Erica owns her personal horse, named Hendrix, at the stables about thirty minutes away from campus. “I look forward to riding my horse, Hendrix, every day,” said Desmond, and hopes that there will be continued opportunities to engage in equestrian activities this spring.

You May Also Like

+ There are no comments

Add yours