The coronavirus has put a halt on many forms of entertainment, from movies and TV shows to our favorite pastimes like going to the gym. When fall sports at MSU were delayed to the spring 2021 semester, the news spread as fast as the virus. As a result of the unexpected pandemic, gyms, stadiums and pools closed with no projected date for reopening. Many athletes were left unable to participate in their weekly training programs and sporting events. Dismay swept throughout the community, and many student athletes were left asking the devastating question: “Will I even get to play?”
Marcos Zelver, a senior and redshirt sophomore on the MSU Men’s Tennis team, was able to give some insight into how COVID-19 has impacted the sports teams here at MSU. He also shared how COVID-19 has impacted him on a more personal level. “There is definitely a certain level of uncertainty regarding the spring. We already lost last spring and this fall,” Zelver said. “I would be really devastated if we were to lose this spring, but at the same time, I don’t want to think about it.”
Zelver also said it is difficult to practice and keep motivation when there is no clear schedule of when he will actually get to compete again. While the future looks uncertain at MSU, other universities have been opening up football programs and are starting to resume other sporting events with guidelines to fit the new normal. Things may be looking good for tennis in that aspect, as tennis does not require physical contact like many other sports.
While the pandemic has wreaked havoc on many, Zelver was able to find a bright side. “I’ve had more time to focus on academics. Without traveling on the weekends it’s been easier to keep up with my school work,” Zelver said. He plans to graduate with a degree in chemical engineering. When asked what he misses most, Zelver’s response included trips and fun with his teammates. He even went so far as to call his teammates “family.” While tennis practice is able to resume in a somewhat normal fashion, masks are still required in the weight room and inside buildings. The tennis team has yet to hear if their spring season will occur.
While sporting events are not being hosted yet, Zelver says the athletes miss the fans as well. For Zelver, the most exciting part of tennis resuming would be playing at MSU once more. “I love home matches. Just like everybody in there cheering for us and the atmosphere with all the energy.”
When sports do return in the spring, make sure to go check out the tennis team and give Zelver and his teammates a proper welcome back to the MSU community. As always, Go Cats!