The outlook was bright for the Mira Costa High boys volleyball team in the spring as the Mustangs were having success early in the 2020 season.
They were off to a 10-0 start and had won the Best of the West Tournament.
“Last year’s team was an awesome group,” coach Avery Drost said. “We were in the early stages of a promising season and then came the shutdown.”
In March, all high school athletic events were postponed and eventually canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Fast forward to this month and the Mustangs are approximately one month away from starting a new season. Because the sports calendar was adjusted this year to deal with COVID-19, the boys volleyball season begins Dec. 12 — a week before the girls volleyball season starts — and ends in mid-March.
But just like all of the high school athletes in the state, the Mustangs are stuck in a holding pattern as coronavirus cases have started to increase. This week Gov. Gavin Newsom and Dr. Mark Ghaly, the state’s health secretary, said the release of updated youth sports guidance was being delayed.
“We were supposedly going to have our first contest as early as the middle of December, but I don’t think that will happen,” Drost said. “I think there is a better chance of us being back in February for a really compact schedule.”
Since September, the Mustangs have been able to meet for outdoor conditioning in groups of 12 or less. Recently, the Mustangs have been able to work out using volleyballs, but only in groups of two players per ball.
“Their attitude has been really good,” Drost said of the players. “They’ve been through a lot and their daily schedule is really tough. They’re online all day (for school) and then whatever their outside activities are. … Considering how many things in their lives have been postponed, I’ve been pretty stoked how positive they were when they show up.
“For those guys to lose last year and maybe this year, is a gut punch to me. When we got the balls out the other day, they were glad to do that, but also for me, it was sad watching them. But they’re showing a lot of maturity. We have a really loaded, talented senior class and they were ready for this year. … It was supposed to be another big year for us.”
Last season’s shutdown forced Mira Costa to cancel the team’s trip to Hawaii for the Clash of the Titans tournament and there were plans to go back this season.
“If we have a season, it will be different,” Drost said. “We’ll keep hanging onto hope, and if the door opens, we will be ready.”