ROANOKE, Va. – Hollins University recently announced it will not be participating in any high risk spring sports--women’s volleyball, women’s soccer, women’s indoor track and field or women’s lacrosse-- due to COVID concerns. This comes after it decided in December to opt out of the basketball season.
“The ODAC had asked all of the institutions to make a decision by mid-December as to whether or not they were going to participate in the basketball schedule that had been put out at that time,” said Hollins Athletic Director Myra Sims.
“Just based on the trends we were seeing with the virus as well as the success we had at Hollins during fall semester with our campus protocols, which were intended to lessen spread and lessen number of cases on campus, we felt that it was the only prudent decision we could make at that time,” Sims said.
It was a tough decision too considering that the basketball team, in addition to other fall sports, had expressed a desire to compete when going through offseason workouts a few months ago.
Former Patrick Henry standout and the second-leading scorer last season, Serena Lytton, said it was a tough pill to swallow but one that she and her teammates had expected.
“We were all kind of upset but we all kind of knew that it probably would happen just due to the trends and like things were going and most of our classes were online already,” Lytton said.
Sims said the University only had two COVID cases during the fall semester, thanks in large part to the strict protocols regarding visitors on campus. Protocols that Hollins plans to continue to adhere to.
“The restrictions on travel and visitors coming to campus would’ve required Hollins make exceptions for athletics and we just weren’t willing to since there were other groups and groups of students that also had good reasons to ask for that same consideration,” said Sims.
But the plan is to not let the talents of the ladies in Green and Gold go to waste.
“We’ll really be looking for ways we can be creative. When you’re not competing it’s hard to practice for weeks and weeks. So we’re going to really work with our coaches and be creative as we can to find ways to safely let our student athletes participate in their sport and make it as fun and exciting as we can,” Sims added.
For some students, they will be able to retain a year of eligibility thanks to the blanket waiver the NCAA rolled out.
As for Lytton, she plans to rehab her surgically repaired shoulder from last season.
“I’ve looked at it as a little bit of a blessing to get my arm the time it needs to recover,” said Lytton.
A full time out so to speak, for what could be a great run for the Hollins next season.