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Posted: November 25, 2020

Avalanche winter 2021 season cancelled

With health and well-being the priority, PACWEST has curtailed competitive play for the winter 2021 semester

College of the Rockies men’s and women’s Avalanche volleyball teams will not be competing in PACWEST league competition for the remainder of the 2020-2021 season.

Citing the health, safety, and well-being of student athletes, coaches, and communities as the priority, the PACWEST Executive Board made the difficult decision to not resume competitive action for the winter semester. The PACWEST Board had previously cancelled the fall 2020 season in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Though this outcome does not come as a surprise we, of course, are disappointed that our student athletes and coaches did not have the opportunity to compete in the 2020 – 2021 season. That said, we completely support the decision made by the PACWEST Board,” said Cori Andrichuk, Manager of Student Life and Athletics. “The health and safety of our student athletes, coaches, trainers, and communities is always our top priority. We will continue to follow the guidance of the Provincial Health Officer, the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training, as well as the PACWEST Board in determining when a safe return to competition is appropriate.”

Though not currently participating in competitive play, the Avalanche teams continue to train and remain focused on their future goals.

“Our plan moving forward remains the same as this first semester, hopefully with added exhibition matches,” said Bryan Fraser, Avalanche women’s coach. “We will carry on with our athlete development structure and continue to push each other outside of our comfort zones in order to fully prepare our athletes for the 2021/22 season. Our objective is to compete for a 2021/22 PACWEST championship, and we will use these next four or five months of training to bring us closer to this goal.”

“This season has been unique from the beginning and we will continue to focus on individual athlete growth and team systematic growth within our structure,” added men’s coach Cisco Farrero. “The commitment of our athletes to our program has been considerate and unwavering and I look forward to the opportunity to compete again when it is safe to do so.”

Avalanche athletes are also looking ahead to future seasons of competition.

“Hearing about the cancellation of our season is disappointing but we were aware that it was a very real possibility,” said Avalanche player Alex Avery. “I like to look at the positives and this allows us to move our focus to the 2021 season and provides a unique opportunity for us to grow as athletes and as a team.”

Fellow Avalanche athlete Katie Friesen agrees. “I’m not discouraged,” she said. “The college has continued to provide a safe and supportive environment for its athletes during this time and I am so thankful. Our coaches have been working hard to help develop our skills while still keeping us safe and healthy and I look forward to the future.”

Learn more about College of the Rockies’ Avalanche volleyball program at: cotr.ca/avalanche

Lead image: College of the Rockies Avalanche volleyball coaches (l-r) Bryan Fraser and Cisco Farrero continue to help their players develop their skills, despite the cancellation of competitive play for the 2020 academic year. COTR photo

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