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Sports postponed during the fall work toward American Rivers Conference action this spring

September 30, 2020 10:36am

Buena Vista University football, volleyball, and men’s and women’s soccer are slated to play a limited schedule this spring, according to plans announced today by the American Rivers Conference.

The four traditional fall sports were postponed on Aug. 11 as the ARC and its members followed NCAA member institutions across the country in implementing plans to protect student-athletes against the spread of COVID-19. At that time, members of the ARC Presidents Council Executive Committee said they would move forward on competition dates for football, volleyball, men’s soccer, and women’s soccer in the spring.

At a meeting on Monday, the ARC Presidents Council voted to allow colleges and universities within the league to schedule the following:

Three conference football games with the option for two additional contests deemed non-conference matchups. Based on input from head coaches and athletic directors, it was determined there would be no conference champion this season.

Eight conference volleyball matches, one against each league opponent with the conference champion determined by those matches. Teams may schedule additional conference and non-conference matches if they wish.

Eight conference matches in men’s and women’s soccer, one each against every ARC foe, with the league champions determined from those games, rather than a conference tournament. Soccer teams may play additional conference or non-conference matches if they desire.

Dates for games of the four varsity sports in the ARC will be announced once academic calendars for spring are finalized by the nine member institutions.

Student-athletes participating in these fall sports have been practicing in a limited basis across the ARC this fall.

“We are very pleased with the decision made by the ARC Presidents Council,” says BVU Director of Athletics Jack Denholm. “Our student-athletes have been working out under the direction of their coaches in hopes a spring season would materialize. And while there is still much work to do in the way of mitigating spread of COVID-19, the vast majority of our student-athletes and their peers have demonstrated an increasing willingness to follow safety guidelines to help protect themselves and their communities. One great benefit of staying healthy as a team involves having the chance to compete and represent BVU on the field, court, and pitch this spring.”

“This is the announcement we’ve been waiting for and working toward,” says Aubrey Havlicek, BVU Head Volleyball Coach. “We’re anxious to take the court to show the strides our players have made in their sport and in the ways in which they’ve continued looking out for themselves and each other.”

“Any chance we get to compete and show the progress we’ve made is awesome,” says Ross Minick, Head Men’s Soccer Coach. “Just the prospect of getting our guys out there and seeing them enjoy themselves against teams from other conference schools will be huge.”

BVU women’s golf, cross country, and women’s tennis teams continue to compete in limited dates this fall. Men’s golf, men’s tennis, and both men’s and women’s track and field teams are expected to represent the Beavers in competition this spring.

Last week, Buena Vista University joined the ARC last week in announcing that competition dates for men’s basketball, women’s basketball, wrestling, and men’s and women’s indoor track and field would begin just after the New Year’s holiday, roughly six weeks later than normal.

Members of the ARC Presidents Council stressed that the safety and well-being of student-athletes would remain the primary goal of the league, whose directors work to continually monitor state and local guidelines on COVID-19. Adjustments to all athletics schedules are subject to that guidance.