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'Canes staying prepared as ACAA eyes potential return

Members of the Holland Hurricanes men’s and women’s basketball and volleyball teams are staying ready in hopes of an announcement in the coming weeks that they will return to the court for regular season action. The Atlantic Collegiate Athletic Association (ACAA) announced recently that after developing a return-to-play plan, the presidents of the ACAA institutions will decide by mid-November if the conference will hold a season beginning in January.

“I am hopeful that we will still have the opportunity to defend our ACAA championship title this winter,” said Sam Gerbig, member of the women’s volleyball Hurricanes.  “I know the season won’t look quite the same but we all have our fingers crossed.”

The ACAA return-to-play plan must be reviewed and approved by provincial health authorities in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island.  Albert Roche, Director of Athletics and Recreation at Holland College, sits on the three person ACAA Return to Play committee.

Member institutions have been clear that adherence to public health directives will be applied to practice, travel, accommodations, and competition for student-athletes, coaches, and athletics staff. 

“I know all of the students-athletes are fired up to play and would improve the atmosphere at school,” shared John-Alex Vos, a member of the ‘Canes men’s basketball team.  “After the year we’ve had, the student-athletes deserve to get back on the court.”

The women’s volleyball Hurricanes are looking to defend their conference championships, winning their first ever ACAA title in 2020, while the men’s volleyball team were silver medalists.  The basketball Hurricanes had strong regular seasons in 2019-20, however, both teams fell in semi-final action at the conference championships.

“We’ve been working hard throughout the off-season by training and practicing to prepare for a 2021 season,” said Ashley Plaggenhoef, member of the ‘Canes women’s basketball team. “We are looking forward to competing with the other teams and hope we are able to do so safely within our Atlantic bubble.  During this time, we have been able to focus on training and skill development and we are excited to show everyone what we’ve been working on.”

The Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA), recently made the decision to cancel all winter CCAA Championships due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The decision was made in response to the sport restrictions that are in place across the country, the variety of provincial health restrictions CCAA hosts were facing, and the limitations effecting travel of teams across the country.  The Hurricanes were scheduled to host the 2021 Women’s Volleyball National Championship in March.

On June 9, 2020, the ACAA cancelled its first-semester sports schedule in light of health and safety considerations.  The decision to cancel first-semester sports affects men’s and women’s soccer and cross country and women’s rugby, as well as exhibition and early season competitions for men’s and women’s basketball, volleyball and badminton.  Cancellations were also announced by the Atlantic Football League (AFL) and Atlantic Collegiate Baseball Association (ACBA) that affected the ‘Canes football and baseball teams.

The Hurricanes have remained active this fall as the baseball and soccer teams have competed in several exhibition games against provincial opponents, while the women’s hockey team plan to do the same.  The ‘Canes cross country running team is hosting an Atlantic virtual meet this Saturday.

For more information on the Holland Hurricanes, please visit www.hollandhurricanes.com.

Stay connected to the ‘Canes by visiting www.facebook.com/hollandhurricanes, www.twitter.com/hc_hurricanes and www.instagram.com/hollandhurricanes.

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For more information about this release, please contact:
Daniel Cudmore, Athletics Development and Communications Coordinator
Tel: (902) 894-6870
Date: Tuesday, October 27, 2020