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Junior Kenzi Rinchich (7) goes up for a spike in 2019 versus Scott High.

SETH — As the WVSSAC has issued no clear decision has been made clear regarding fall sports during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Sherman High volleyball team is looking ahead and hopes to have the chance to build on a 2019 season that saw them finish 19-14 and make an appearance in the Region 4 finals, where they fell to eventual Class A state champion Wirt County.

Having lost four players from that team, Head Coach Terri Dawn Williams said she believes she has the nucleus to make another deep run in post-season play.

“All four girls we lost were key players and started varsity,” she said. “With that said, I feel we have girls that can step right in and be ready to compete this season.”

The team hasn’t been able to take advantage of sanctioned conditioning and practice time as of last week due to repairs to the roof of the gymnasium at the high school that required the structure to be empty while the work was performed.

“Next week if we still aren’t allowed in the gym we will start weight lifting and go outside to condition,” she said. “We could have gone to the elementary school, but with trying to social distance I felt we couldn’t go to a smaller gym and do things. So, we will weight lift and condition outside until we can get in the gym and then use our flex days before the season starts to get a few drills in.”

Williams, who also served as an assistant to Coach Jim Henderson on the 2019 Class A state champion softball team, added that with volleyball being an indoor sport, it presents challenges in terms of safety.

“It is challenging to try and social distance and keep everyone safe,” she said. “This year will be different. I usually have 20 to 24 players. We will still have that many players because I want to keep the junior varsity program going. We will have to split up more this year and have one group weightlifting while the other group is in the gym and then switch so we don’t have as many at a time in one place. We may have to have varsity practice one time and junior varsity another. Those are some things I am working on to make sure everyone gets the same amount of practice time.”

Williams said she and her staff are making the effort to keep their gymnasium cleaned and sanitized along with the equipment every day before and after practice and will observe that same routine for their home games.

Sherman is scheduled to begin its 2020 slate on Sept. 8 at home as they host Man High School at 6 p.m. They travel to Buffalo on Sept. 10 before hosting cross-county Class AA Scott High on Sept. 12.

Reporter Phil Perry can be reached at pperry or at