HELENA -- After layoffs of 421 days for the Providence Argos, and 441 days for the Carroll College Fighting Saints both teams got a chance to shake off the rust on Friday night with the Argos coming out on top, 3-1.
Following the match, Carroll college head coach Moe Boyle said she knows that she can't be overly critical after the first night back, but she knows that her team can, and needs to, play better.
"We were just hoping to play, and I wish that we were hoping for more than that," said Boyle. "I think the urgency would have been a little bit better. But after a year and a half, I think I'm going to be pretty light on what the expectation was. I expect us to play a heck of a lot better tomorrow."
The University of Providence's head coach, Arunas Duda, said despite picking up a win in their first match of the season, the long layoff is still something the Argos are trying to shake off as well.
"It's a learning experience. You know, we're taking every match as an opportunity to grow. We certainly have a lot of work to do," said Duda. "We certainly know that we're not playing our best volleyball yet."
With the first night in the books, both coaches noted the COVID-19 pandemic hasn't just influenced themselves and their players on the court, but off the court as well. You know,
"The game itself, really in each of our lives, is not near as important necessarily as it would have been before. Because there are now other things in life that we might not have found," said Boyle.
"During COVID, it's been like everyone's going through something different. So, trying to keep them all together, give them a common goal trying to keep them, you know, trying to keep them on the same page. It was very difficult," said Duda.
The Fighting Saints and the Argos will square off one last time in Helena on Saturday at 1 p.m.