Oregon women’s lacrosse hosts USC at Papé Field in Eugene, Ore. on March 17, 2019. (Maddie Knight/Emerald)

All that True Dydasco wants is normalcy. 

For months, she trained by kicking a ball against her backyard wall and running around her neighborhood in Honolulu, Hawai’i for cardio workouts. She couldn’t even go to the nearby park to train because it was closed. 

Dydasco, an incoming senior on the women’s soccer team, is used to practices, workouts and weights every day and with a strict schedule to prepare for the season.

Right now, she, along with many other fall athletes, has anything but a typical season schedule. As the novel coronavirus pandemic led to NCAA fall sports cancellations across the board, the University of Oregon and the rest of the Pac-12 conference have decided to postpone all sport competitions through the end of the calendar year.  

Another fall sport athlete, Oregon volleyball outside hitter Brooke Nuneviller, has appreciated the moments with her teammates during quarantine and understands the value of keeping up with everyone. She, too, understands the importance of staying connected and training with teammates despite not knowing what these next few months entail as an athlete.

Dydasco struggled adapting to new routines and workouts at home that would otherwise be different if she was training in facilities in Eugene. Instead of training at the Casanova Center and practicing at Pape Field everyday, she was at home in Hawai’i trying to find new ways of keeping in shape for a soccer season that may not happen.

“We kind of lost motivation at one point because there was nothing to look forward to, but when we got some answers we relied on each other for support so that definitely helped,” Dydasco said.

Dydasco enjoys the simplest of things with her teammates now, such as being able to go on a run with someone outside for the first time together, even if it was socially distanced. The moral support of having someone next to her running reminds of her of why she plays this sport — for her teammates. 

“I get to see my teammates again, which has been so nice for my mental health because I have something to look forward to now — it’s doing something other than kicking a ball against the wall,” she said. 

A change of pace from her normal season has allowed her to connect with her teammates more by cooking together and going on hikes around Oregon that they had not explored before because of their hectic schedule. 

The volleyball team also found ways to connect over social media to stay in touch with one another.

Each of the players even created their own Instagram page during quarantine to share with teammates what they’ve been doing at home and their different daily workouts to keep a sense of normalcy with teammates.

“That was something our whole team wanted to do together without the coaches to hold ourselves accountable physically and socially. I thought that was an awesome way to keep in touch with each other and see what everyone else is up to,” Nuneviller said. 

Nuneviller wanted the team to also have weekly players-only Zoom calls to check in with one another and knows how important that is to maintain motivation and connection with the rest of her teammates. 

Even with the hardship of wearing masks while practicing and working out — both Dydasco and Nuneviller are grateful that they can rely on their socially-distanced teammates for support for what may be an unknown next few months.