By Luke Mich
On Sept. 17, at roughly 3 p.m., the Presidents’ Athletic Conference announced the tentative spring schedules for select sports, including soccer and women’s volleyball. Women’s volleyball is scheduled to start the last weekend of February, whereas football and soccer will start in mid March.
Associate Athletic Director Susan Hozak explained that the change entails more differences from a normal schedule besides playing in the spring.
“The spring schedule is a conference-only schedule and we will only have one [match against] each conference school,” Hozak, who coaches the volleyball team, said.
This arrangement is different than past years in which Saint Vincent would play against each conference school twice, once at home and the other away. With no non-conference matches, each game is ever more important with standings and playoffs seeding dependent on conference record.
The men’s and women’s soccer schedules are very much similar. Beginning the second weekend of March, the schedule will include no non-conference games and the Bearcats will only play against each conference team once. Carl Dei Cas, the head coach of both soccer teams, noted an additional difference from playing in fall, saying the Athletic Department set the schedule.
“[They] set the schedule so as to avoid conflicts with the other sports,” he said.
Another important thing to note is the change of the postseason format. The postseason matches for both volleyball and soccer will be determined by seeding, and while not confirmed as of the time of this publication, all conference teams may be in the playoffs. The volleyball playoffs will only span the course of two days.
Hozak talked about how her players feel about practicing during this unprecedented situation and about adjusting to the new schedule for the spring.
“I believe they are very thankful for any opportunity they have to be on the court this fall and spring. I believe they will [be able to adjust to the new schedule]. They are very committed to the sport and to each other,” Hozak said.
Hozak added that they plan on continuing practice through the first week of November.
As for soccer, Dei Cas replied with just one word if he thought his team will adjust to the schedule: “Yes.”
Dei Cas also said that his players have been feeling fine at practices besides waking up early.
“It will be cold at 6:00 a.m.; otherwise [it’s] fine [for them].”
However, with this news recently being announced, it’s a sure given that players from these teams, as well as coaches, are anxious and excited.
After multiple updates involving the status of these sports, from planning to go as scheduled to delaying the season to pushing the season to spring, the conference has finally released a schedule that, barring unforeseen events, will allow these sports to occur this year.