HELENA — Though the Frontier Conference isn't allowing fans to start off 2021, behind the Carroll College volleyball team’s bench is a collection of hand-drawn posters as a way to kind of skirt the system. Earlier this year, Fighting Saints head coach Moe Boyle had her players pick one another's names out of a hat and draw a poster of their teammate’s family. The exercise was a way that her squad could learn about one another and have some support at the games this season. For junior outside Hitter Taelyr Krantz, her family is hanging up off to the side thanks to Ali Williams.
“We each just drew names out of a hat and picked somebody to draw for them. It was a way to get to know each other's families, get to know each other a little bit better," said Krantz. "On my poster, I just have my family who's here in Helena, and then I have grandparents, cousins, extended family on another poster.”
For some the task was easy, for others it was difficult. Lexi Mikkelsen, another junior outside hitter for the Saints, drew Laurel Kassa’s family. According to Mikkelsen, the grand total of people on Kassa's poster took her a little while.
“I drew Laurel Kassa’s poster, which was fun, but a lot of work. One of her posters is just like her immediate family members," said Mikkelsen. "The other one, she wanted me to draw all of her cousins, which was a fun challenge, because there's like 18 of them, but it was fun.”
There is a possibility that the Fighting Saints volleyball team won't be able to welcome fans in this season, dependent on the Frontier Conference's restrictions. In the meantime, they’ll hang the posters up for as long as they can so they have someone else to play for.
“I just thought it was really fun learning about everyone's families and drawing them and being able to have those people kind of there with us," said Mara Lynch, a sophomore defensive specialist. "Not physically there, but like you're thinking about them because they're drawn right behind our bench.”
The next time the Fighting Saints will have their “fans” behind them is on Feb. 12 when they host the Montana State-Northern Skylights.