Sand Springs volleyball player Evyn Morrow reacts while doing planks Wednesday, June 10. MIKE SIMONS/Tulsa World

It has been an uncertain road for just about everyone since the COVID 19 pandemic took over early this year. That isn’t lost on Sand Springs volleyball coach Derek Jackson as his team is able to gather this summer to prepare for a possible season in 2020.

“It’s a blessing to be back and have the opportunity of a season in front of us,” Jackson said. “Not all sports had that.”

The Sandites have been able to do summer conditioning while exercising an abundance of caution. And so far so good with everything they’re allowed to do.

“Summer is going great for the volleyball team,” junior Jacelyn Smith said. “We are putting in hard work, bonding, growing friendships and becoming a stronger team. I am looking forward to learning dynamics of new girls on the court, getting stronger as a team and putting in hard work to have a great season full of fun, laughter and setting new goals.”

Jackson said the volleyball team is using weight equipment during conditioning drills, but the team is also trying to utilize other working methods.

“We are trying to avoid using equipment the best we can,” Jackson said.

“Lots of body weight exercises. We are doing some mental training with a couple books as well to develop us mentally and physically both.”

The bonding has been a big component of what the Sandites have been able to accomplish.

“We have younger girls stepping up as leaders and pushing the older girls to do their best,” Senior Madison Blaylock said. “I’m loving the atmosphere of this team so far. I’m excited for practice to start up so we can physically see the bonds we’ve created show up on the court. Team chemistry is one of the most important parts of volleyball, and I believe that this year will be great for our team building.”

Sophomore Payton Robbins shared a lot of the same sentiments.

“The volleyball team has grown so much during the summer so far, and I’m really impressed with the girls we have at the high school and the middle school, too,” Robbins said. “The team has bonded so much just in workouts and it’s unbelievable how great we all fit together. I’m looking forward to seeing how each teammate will push each other this year. Just by being at workouts and becoming friends with new girls coming up, it’s going to be a great year full of hustling and determination.”

For now, though, Jackson said the ultimate goal is still just a modest one with bigger things further down the road.

“Right now we are just trying to get everyone back in shape,” Jackson said. “Once July hits and we are allowed to practice we are excited to get to work. We have multiple girls that played JV or were backups on varsity that are chomping at the bit to take their skills to the next level and compete on the varsity stage.”

​Kirk McCracken 918-581-8315