Sports schedules under construction

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With the Dubois gym closed, the volleyball and basketball programs are facing significant schedule changes. Anna Phillips ’15

With the Dubois gym closed, the volleyball and basketball programs are facing significant schedule changes. Anna Phillips '15
Anna Phillips ’15

As the construction of the new gymnasium and workout space slowly rumbles on outside, members of the Convent of the Sacred Heart community eagerly await the completion of the new athletic facilities. However, this ongoing construction project has caused significant changes and presents unique challenges for the volleyball and basketball teams during the 2014-2015 school year.
The existing Dubois Gymnasium has been closed since May 1, 2014. Although the gym is expected to temporarily reopen in early October, this brief closing of the gym has altered the volleyball and basketball programs.
Both varsity and junior varsity volleyball have previously used the Dubois gym for preseason, daily practices, and games. With the facility closed, Sacred Heart has relocated its volleyball program to the Brunswick School gym for the beginning of the season.
“The only downside of practicing at Brunswick is having to travel back and forth, because it does cut into our practice time a little bit,” varsity volleyball co-captain senior Grace McKenney said. “However, the Brunswick facilities are so nice and really great to practice in, and their field house gives us a glimpse at what our new athletic complex will be like.”
Volleyball co-captain and basketball captain Claire O’Neill also noted that while she believes the Brunswick facilities are very nice, the switch to the Brunswick gym has interfered with the game schedule.
“We’re starting the season with a lot of far away games, which is tough,” Claire said. “But, once we get our gym back, we have a pretty long stretch of home games which will get the team morale up in the middle of the season, which is crucial to our success.”
Once it is reopened, the Dubois gym will remain available for the end of the volleyball season and the beginning of the winter basketball season. The gym will again be closed for the remainder of the 2014-2015 school year beginning December 7. Similar to volleyball, the basketball teams will then have to practice off campus and play primarily away games. 
“Just like volleyball, the construction is definitely going to have a big impact on the basketball team,” Claire said. “There’s going to be a lot of away games at the end of the season, which is going to be hard, but hopefully the team will be strong enough at that point in the season that it won’t be too much of an adjustment.”
Despite the disruptions to practices and games, team members remain optimistic that the new facilities will be worth a few schedule changes.
“I believe that overall this construction is worth the trouble,” sophomore varsity volleyball player Jenna Whelan said. “The new courts will allow us to host home games at the same time and give the teams more space to practice. Also, the workout gym will be helpful in offering alternatives to regular practice.”
The closing of the gym will also affect the Middle School spring volleyball program. Since the gym will not be open during the spring of 2015, the program will not exist. However, once the new gym is finished, Sacred Heart plans to offer volleyball as a fall sport option for Middle School students.
While the Dubois gym was not large enough to accommodate both Middle and Upper School volleyball practices at the same time, the new facilities will have enough court space for both divisions.
“I think it is definitely worth it to go through the construction and necessary schedule adjustments,” varsity volleyball player sophomore Katie Kablack said. “When finished, our gym will be a great brand-new facility that CSH can be proud of.”
-Anna Phillips, Content Editor