BERKELEY - The calendar says Cal’s volleyball team begins a road trip through Southern California on Friday. But the Bears have really been in road trip mode since Tuesday.
The Bears, like so many other Cal sports teams that are headquartered at Haas Pavilion, have been displaced since the on-campus explosion and ensuing power outage that took place late Monday afternoon. It’s forced the Bears to alter their usual routine, but also showcased the resilience and solidarity of the entire athletic department.
“That just goes with Cal,” Cal volleyball coach Rich Feller said Thursday before the team boarded a plane for Los Angeles, where the team will visit No. 16 UCLA and No. 2 USC this weekend. “We do more with less a lot of the time. Making do with what we have is just a reality. I’m grateful for our administrators who followed up and made things happen for us.”
Typically, volleyball players visit the training room before their morning practice, watch video in the team meeting room and then practice on the Haas Pavilion floor. After practice, some go back to the training room for treatment and the team also has training table, a nutritional lunch served daily in the Grill Room on the second floor of Haas.
None of that went as planned this week. Some pre-practice treatment took place in the dark or at the RSF, where the team practiced all week. Each morning, director of operations David Dantes and trainer Elaine Garcia had to bring ice down from the Simpson Center. Instead of watching video in the team meeting room, the Bears sat on the floor of the RSF Blue Gym and watched it on a TV cart. Instead of having laundry done for them, players took their gear home each day and did their laundry themselves.
“The team handled it extremely well,” Feller said. “Probably the coaches were a little more concerned about how that stuff might affect them, but I was pretty pleased with the way they accepted change. It was actually a nice little test to be somewhere in a different environment. In my opinion, it was a good experience that the team adapted really well. The support staff went all out and helped us out. All in all, it was positive.”
Locker rooms for all teams in Haas were off-limits. Both the men’s and women’s basketball teams, who each started practice for the 2013-14 season during the past week, also shared the Blue Gym. Women’s basketball trainer Nakiesha Brooks-Davis taped up players and prepared them for practice right outside the gym.
Men’s basketball players have also gotten taped up right outside the Blue Gym. The only thing the team has had in terms of treatment is the ice that the volleyball program brought down each morning.
Some of the athletes in all sports have made their way up to the Simpson Center for more thorough treatment.
it all added up to an athletic department rolling with the proverbial punches.