What are the Athletes Saying?

The internet is overrun with COVID-19 updates, memes (my favorite part), and opinions. The pandemic has become all of our worlds right now and a necessary part of the daily conversation. 

The AVP released an official statement. We told you our “Why.” And now I know you just want to hear how the athletes are doing. The overall consensus: we’re okay. Most self-quarantined even before the Safer at Home order to slow the spread and flatten the curve. Some are at home alone with pets; a few have kids crawling over them between e-learning sessions; others (including Mark and me) are holing up with roommates or partners and passing the time by peppering, playing board games, and trying not to eat all our snacks in one sitting.

But wherever they may be, every athlete I’ve spoken to is going with the flow and finding the silver lining. 

April Ross 

Considering the urgency with which we need to get this virus contained, I feel like the schedule change by the AVP was inevitable and the only responsible thing to do. The frustrating part for me is not knowing if our efforts are helping prevent the spread. I haven’t interacted with anyone outside those I live with for close to a week now and I really want to know that it’s helping! At the same time, I know it’s the most important thing we can do right now. It really puts everything into perspective — how lucky we are to be beach volleyball players, and go to work, and visit friends; all I want is for life to get back to normal. So, for what is hopefully the short term, I’m hunkering down in my house, eating healthy, getting the best workouts I can, and being as productive as I can be. As hard as this time is, I’m trying to find the opportunities to grow, improve, and relax a little bit. @AprilRossBeach

Casey Patterson

The Pattersons are healthy and happy. The seriousness of this pandemic and the precautions we are all taking has been a very educational experience in our home. I’ve learned a few things so far, and number one: four kids at home all day is CHAOS! 😂Luckily Ray has us all on a schedule with tea parties and volleyball instructional videos. @caseypatt

Katie Spieler 

This is a wild time in the world, but it’s wild for everyone. Some people are more affected and some less, but we are all in a state of uncertainty about the future. What we do have is each day. We still have the AVP to work towards, and I am so incredibly grateful for that. It’s a great time to break down film, recover any nagging injuries, keep your body and mind healthy. Most importantly, it forces us into realizing that each day of our lives is pretty incredible. @katiespieler

Maddison McKibbin 

I’m having the time of my life. There’s been a massive uptick in our YouTube views, so we’re seeing the effect of the Coronavirus there. Basically everyone in my household has come into my world of making videos, and it’s awesome (Maddison lives with his girlfriend, Jeremy Casebeer, and another friend). It’s an opportunity to do things that you never thought you had time to do. It’s made me realize, sometimes you think you don’t have the time to do the thing you always wanted to do. But really, it doesn’t take that long. I always had this time. If you really just put a few hours to it, even if you think you need a whole week, it makes a lot of difference. We have a lot more time than you think. @maddison.mckibbin

Jeremy Casebeer

I went from coaching at UCLA, being the busiest I’d ever been, to the next day my schedule going from jam-packed to wide open. That took some getting used to. It affects everyone’s life in different ways, but I’m trying to think about what positives can come from this. There’s a lot of things I’ve been wanting to do for a long time. I got into photography last year, and now I’m working with Maddison on the ins and outs of video editing. It’s something I’ve always wanted to learn but just haven’t had the time to go through it. It’s a time to reflect, to think about what’s important and where you want to go. @shakesbeer_

Molly Turner

Kinda been weird lately. I’m a very scheduled person and I’m basically freelancing right now trying to find my new normal. Most of my friends are in self-quarantine, so I actually haven’t seen anyone in California in about two weeks (I was in Florida training with Katie for a week when this all went down). Season being pushed back sucks, but season still being in the future is so hopeful. I’ve been doing outdoor band workouts and indoor mobility stuff. I also have been hitting, setting, and passing up against a wall in a park near my house. Just trying to do my part and stay away from everyone (which is weird for an extrovert to say). @mollyturner22

Troy Field 

COVID-19 helped me come up with a creative way to coach from home, introducing online coaching. With the season getting pushed back, it has me thinking of this as a little extended offseason. I am preparing by watching film and getting my body healthy. I’m still working out with F45 using their online classes and doing Pilates with a local instructor, Lindsay Legrande. A lot of emotions around the volleyball community, but I truly am trying to make the best of the situation we have been given and counting my blessings every day! @troyfield_beach

Sarah Sponcil 

I was pretty disappointed with the schedule changes made by the AVP, especially after grinding and growing with my team this past offseason. However, I completely understand it’s for the safety of everyone. Though there are unknowns for a lot of athletes, including myself, during this time, I’m taking it as a time to slow down and be grateful for what I do have, spend time with my family in Phoenix, and work on things I felt like I’d never get the time to learn and pursue. www.sarahsponcil.com @smsponcil

E d Ratledge 

COVID-19 has really changed my outlook on life. I’ve never before had to really worry about my family’s safety, or for the safety of the country for that matter. I want to use what little platform I have to ask that everyone be socially responsible. Adhere to quarantine, shelter-in-place, and other orders to ensure that our hospitals don’t get overwhelmed with cases. If you have a doctor or a nurse in your circle, do whatever you can to help them because we need them more than ever right now. Over the next month, they’ll be putting their lives on the line for us. @edratledge

Sarah Schermerhorn

The AVP’s postponement of the season has bought us some time to see how this epidemic pans out and still have hope for a 2020 season. I think we all hope that the measures everyone is taking to flatten the curve are successful enough so that we can resume our normal lives, and for us, that means being back on the courts playing in NYC in June. Time will tell, and in the meantime, I’m just trying to stay optimistic. Side note: We could always run a Winter AVP Tour from Florida. Stay safe 🙂 @sarahschermurph

Raffe Paulis

I’m really excited about the schedule change because I still don’t have a partner. More time to look for one. @raffepaulis

Jace Pardon 

Everything going on definitely feels surreal, almost apocalyptic, and it is frustrating, but for the best. I think the biggest strain aside from financial loss and social isolation is our inability to access a gym and/or practice at the beach. I think the silver lining in all of this though, is that the AVP will have events this summer and it is not totally canceled. @jacepardon

Kenzie Ponnet

I feel like there are so many things going on right now that I could totally lose it over. The uncertainty of, “Will I have a job in a week? or “What do I do now?” feeling when hearing that the season has been postponed. Yet, I have a sense of calm because now I am forced to take a step back from everything and BREATHE. I firmly believe everything will be okay and work out, but we all have to stay positive and put positive vibes out in the universe! @kenzponnet03

Mark Burik

It’s really rough as a beach volleyball player. It’s rougher as a beach volleyball coach; a lot of AVP players and coaches are people who rely on group interaction. And it’s not like a beach volleyball player had some kind of pension or backup plan; the majority of us just play for the love of the sport. And that has left all of us so vulnerable right now. As an athlete, your only response to adversity your whole life has been to go back and do the work. It will get better. That’s what I hope a lot of people choose to subscribe to. The world handed you a beating. Now it’s up to you to go back, reassess, work in a new direction, or just work harder to see what you can come up with. @markburik