Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Goodbye to Spring Break?


"Virginia's Championship City"


DECEMBER 15, 2020 | written by STEVE ULRICH
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1.  Goodbye to Spring Break?

by Beckie Supiano, Chronicle of Higher Education

It's a tradition as old as college itself - spring break.

And for intercollegiate athletics - a time for baseball, softball, lacrosse, golf, tennis and track and field athletes to head to warmer climates and, for many, begin the new season.

But even spring break 2021 could be in danger due to COVID-19.

Watching students leave college towns and head across the country is clearly at odds with efforts to contain the coronavirus. So the traditional "Florida trip" may be out the window and replaced by "wellness days."

"A growing number of colleges have announced plans to cancel class on a handful of days sprinkled throughout the spring semester. The trend seems to be putting wellness days in midweek, perhaps with the thought that creating a long weekend could encourage travel or drinking. Some colleges plan to offer wellness programming on the selected days; others will just give students a day off."

>> Situational Awareness: “That the university thinks a mere two days off in the middle of the week are enough to help students cope with an increasingly stressful semester only shows that administrators are out of touch with the needs of their students,” one student wrote in an op-ed column for The Massachusetts Daily Collegian, the student paper at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

>> Between The Lines: "While wellness days have been presented as a replacement for spring break, no one seems to be suggesting that they’re its equivalent. Wellness days are a concession, a nod to the fact that students haven’t been getting their usual midsemester breaks, and that they’re suffering for it. But why do students need a break, anyhow? And are wellness days able to provide one?"

>> Reality Check: "But work is not the only thing people catch up on during a break. There’s also sleep, exercise, and social connection, said Sarah Rose Cavanagh, an associate professor of psychology at Assumption University, who is also interim director of the university’s D’Amour Center for Teaching Excellence. All of those activities, she added, support mental health."

>> Be Smart: It's hard to envision teams loading up the bus and driving south for spring break, given the current state of the pandemic. Could a "wellness day" turn into a mid-week doubleheader or an 18-hole shootout? Creative scheduling could come into play.

>> Continue Reading



2. Opting Out


Three more institutions opted out of competition yesterday - SUNY Old Westbury, Lewis & Clark and Willamette.

Old Westbury canceled competition in men's and women's basketball, cheerleading, and men's and women's swimming, as well as women's lacrosse.

Both Lewis & Clark and Willamette canceled the 2020-21 football and men's and women's basketball seasons.



3.  Women's Volleyball Finals

DIII Women's College Volleyball - Home | NCAA.com

Here is our list of the top 10 NCAA Division III women's volleyball championship matches.

1. Calvin vs. California Lutheran, 2013
Calvin battled back from a 2-0 deficit to defeat the Regals, taking the deciding set 20-18 for its second DIII title in four seasons. Maggie Kemp had 27 kills for the Knights. (link) (highlights)

2. St. Thomas vs. Calvin, 2012
The Tommies rallied from a 2-0 deficit for its first and only DIII championship. Jill Greenfield and Kelly Foley each had 14 kills for St. Thomas. (link) (highlights)

3. UC San Diego vs. Juniata, 1997
UCSD won its seventh and final DIII title with a comeback victory against the Eagles. The Tritons trailed 0-2 and fell behind 9-2 in the fourth set before rallying. Katherine Brynjestad had 19 kills and hit .342. (link)

4. Washington U. vs. California Lutheran, 1995
Trailing 2-1, the Bears took the last two sets by 15-11 counts for a record-setting fifth straight DIII title. Neither team held more than a two-point lead in the final set before WashU went on a final run. Shelley Swan led the way with 31 kills, including the title-clincher. (link)

5. Washington U. vs. UC San Diego, 1991
Playing on their home court, the Bears trailed two sets to one and 12-7 in the fourth before rallying to down the top-ranked Tritons. Anne Quenette led Wash U with 23 kills while Joanie Subar added 22. (link)

6. La Verne vs. UW-Whitewater, 2001
The Leopards rallied to win the final two sets, 30-26 and 15-12, for their first DIII championship in 19 years. La Verne needed five sets to defeat Juniata in the semis, overcoming the loss of starting OH Amy Smith due to injury. Amy Kratochvil led the way with 18 kills in the final. (link)

7. UC San Diego vs. Washington U., 1990
The Tritons won their fourth title in five seasons, overcoming a talented Bear squad on its home court before the largest crowd in DIII final history. UCSD scored the final 12 points of the final set to cap off a comeback from a 2-1 set deficit. Elizabeth Vesanovic had 21 kills. (link)

8. Juniata vs. UW-Whitewater, 2006
The Eagles rallied from a 2-1 deficit, taking the final two sets 30-27 and 15-10. Stephanie Kines (26) and Amber Thomas (25) combined for 51 kills as Juniata hit .429 in the final set for the win. (link)

9. UC San Diego vs. Benedictine, 1988
Linda Ross, who played in just 12 of 123 games in her career, provided the serving spark as the Tritons three-peated with a five-set victory. Rachel Vetter had 20 kills for UCSD. (link)

10. UC San Diego vs. Calvin, 1986
The Tritons overcame a 2-1 set deficit and a vocal home crowd of 3,275 to down the Knights in five sets. Janet Hughes led the way with 10 kills. (link)

4.  Officiating Strategic Plan

Commissioners Patrick B. Summers (NEWMAC) & Chuck Yrigoyen (American Rivers) preview the initial presentation of the DIIICA's Collegiate Officiating Strategic Plan.

>> Watch (12:39)


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5.  Comings and Goings
6.  1 Christmas Tree Thing

Ohio Winter Fun: Christmas Tree Farms

The United States has a Christmas tree shortage. Many tree lots and farms have already sold out of their largest trees, and some are closing early because of a lack of inventory.

The pandemic is one contributing factor. “I’ve had customers tell me they wanted something happy in the house,” an employee at Boyd’s Christmas Trees in North Carolina told The Asheville Citizen Times. “They want something pretty to look at, and some that usually do artificial, this year they wanted a live tree.”

But there are other causes, too. If you want a tree and don’t have one yet, you can probably still find one. Just be prepared for a smaller selection and higher prices.

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