As if waiting nearly a year for sports wasn’t enough, Pacific University and its students will have to wait another week before sports are back on campus. Both Men’s Tennis and Softball were scheduled to play over Valentine’s Day weekend, but both were canceled due to snow which covered all of Forest Grove and much of the surrounding Portland area.
“We were upset,” said Matt Weiler, a junior on the Pacific Men’s Tennis team. “We were really excited to play, so when our coach told us it was canceled, we weren’t thrilled about it.” The tennis team was scheduled to play Portland State Saturday, February 13.
Jill Uyeda, a senior on the Pacific Softball Team, said the games being canceled was, “disappointing,” adding, “we were excited to get back on the field after such a long wait.” For Uyeda, the canceled games were nothing new, saying, “We have faced a lot of adversity over this past year so we know how to refocus and continue to prepare for the season.”
Speaking of the upcoming season, Weiler was pleased with how the beginning of the spring began for the team saying, “Practices have been going well. Our coach was working us hard, making sure we were in shape to play some tough competition.”
With several COVID restrictions, the 2021 season will be different for all sports, and tennis and softball are no different. Uyeda commented on the amount of adjusting her team has done through the COVID pandemic. She said, “It is difficult not being able to bond and interact with your teammates the way we are used to but we know we are very fortunate to even be playing at all.”
Weiler said, “It has been tough not being allowed to use our indoor courts all the time, since we need coach supervision.” He added, “We follow the rules in place, and over time we hope it will be back to normal.”
When asked about the outlook of the entire season, Weiler said, “The whole team is pumped and we are hoping for good results as we try to take the [Northwest Conference] title home this year.”
Uyeda expects the softball team, “to stay gritty and compete,” adding, “We have a lot of team chemistry and experience so I am to see what we do with that.”
While the snow pushed sports for another week, teams are looking for ways to stay fresh and focused on having a successful 2021 season, no matter how much of a challenge that may be.
For updated schedules, visit goboxers.com. — Joey Balleweg
Photo: Softball has not played a game since March 1, 2020 (Jules Dagan)