Postseason Canceled for Valley Regional Athletics Due to COVID-19
Sophomore Grace Abderhalden and the Valley Regional girls’ soccer squad finished were unable to compete in the Shoreline Conference Tournament this past week after Valley Regional High School had to close due to positive COVID-19 tests. (File photo by Kelley Fryer/The Courier | Buy This Photo)
Senior Keenan Pindar and the Warriors’ boys’ soccer team finished the season with an overall record of 7-3 after having to abstain from the postseason due to Valley Regional being closed as a result of positive COVID-19 tests. (File photo by Kelley Fryer/The Courier | Buy This Photo)
Senior captain libero Emma Counter and the Warriors girls’ volleyball team had the postseason cut short after school was canceled last week due to positive tests of COVID-19 at Valley Regional. (File photo by Kelley Fryer/The Courier | Buy This Photo)
On Nov. 9, Valley Regional High School shut down due to positive COVID-19 tests among students. The school sent home students and faculty, and as a result, all Valley Regional athletics were canceled. That meant that no Warriors’ teams were able to compete in their respective postseason contests.
Even without the thrill of the playoffs, Valley’s teams had strong campaigns across the board, and their athletes performed valiantly through difficult circumstances.
One of the strongest showings this fall season belonged the Warriors’ girls’ volleyball team. Valley was coming off a Shoreline Conference Championship victory in which it upset No. 1 seed Hale-Ray. The Warriors picked up right where they left off the previous year with a streak of six wins in a row to start the season. Valley posted a record of 8-1 overall record on the season and earned the No. 2 seed in the Shoreline Conference Tournament. The Warriors were set to play No. 7 seed Morgan in the Shoreline quarterfinals on Nov. 9.
Senior captain hitter Ava Boyles earned the Shoreline Conference’s Most Valuable Player Award and All-Shoreline Conference First Team honors. Senior captain setter Alena Crosby also earned All-Shoreline Conference First Team recognition as well. Senior captain libero Emma Counter took All-Shoreline Conference Second Team honors, and junior Salmi Miller also earned Second Team distinction as well. Senior captain Jamie Pullin garnered All-Shoreline Conference Honorable Mention.
The Valley Regional field hockey squad overcame some tremendous shake-ups early in the year. Several seniors elected not to take part in the season, leading to multiple lineup changes throughout the early portion of the campaign with just 11 games on the schedule and no preseason matches.
Ultimately, the Warriors turned in an overall mark of 2-4-2-2 on the season. The No. 4 seed Valley was scheduled to face off with No. 2 seed Old Saybrook in the semifinal prior to canceling the remainder of the season.
Valley saw a handful of individual honors for its athletes as well. Junior captain forward Abby Amara took home All-Shoreline Conference First Team honors, and junior defender Brooke Lavigne earned First Team accolades, too. Junior forward Margaret Jacaruso’s play merited All-Shoreline Conference Second Team recognition as well.
The Warriors’ boys’ soccer squad came off a 2019 campaign plagued by injuries throughout the roster. Valley still managed a .500 record last year, and this season saw the Warriors improve on that mark. Valley finished the 2020 campaign with a 7-3 overall record and were the No. 2 seed in the Shoreline Conference Tournament. The Warriors were slated to face No. 7 seed Portland in the quarterfinals on Nov. 11 before their postseason was canceled.
The Valley girls’ soccer squad had played deep into the postseason in 2019, with the Warriors ultimately losing to Haddam-Killingworth in the Shoreline final. Valley had an overall mark of 11-6-3 last season and looked to build on that success in 2020. The Warriors finished the 2020 campaign with an overall record of 4-4-2 on the season. The No. 7 seed Valley was scheduled to match up against No. 10 seed Hale-Ray on Nov. 9 before the Warriors had to bow out of the tournament.
With COVID-19 cases rising across the country—Connecticut included—there is still much to be determined as to any winter season athletics being played. The original start date of the 2020 winter season was slated for Nov. 21, but that has been postponed due to the recent spike in cases across the state. The Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference Board of Control plans to Meet Nov. 17 (after press time) to discuss a potential date for the winter season to begin.