The coronavirus has radically transformed the landscape of college sports, and after initial worries, Notre Dame fans are fortunate to still enjoy a 2020-21 season. Student attendance at games, even in a limited capacity, has helped to elevate the atmosphere and maintain the feeling of excitement despite coronavirus-related adjustments.
However, some teams on campus have been less lucky, as the volleyball, men’s soccer, and women’s soccer teams were forced to begin their seasons without fans in attendance. The inconsistent playing schedule this year already presented a new obstacle to players, and the lack of fans in attendance was another unfortunate change.
However, matches for these three teams will now be open to student spectators. This information comes after the teams had already begun play with no spectators in the stands. The women’s soccer team (3-3) took on both Wake Forest and Clemson on Oct. 15 and 18, and both matches saw roughly 100 fans show up in support. Similarly, the volleyball team (4-1) played its first match open to fans on Oct. 18 against Pitt with 101 spectators present.
The Irish men’s soccer team (2-2) was also scheduled to play on Oct. 18, set for an away game at Virginia Tech. Virginia Tech has similarly begun to allow student attendees at games, as would have been the case for this match. The game was postponed, however, in a mutual decision by officials from Notre Dame, Virginia Tech and the ACC, likely related to concerns with COVID-19 despite no official statement on the reason for cancellation. The next home game for the Irish is on Nov. 6 against the Louisville Cardinals, and the student fans’ presence will likely be a welcome change.
The volleyball team ended their fall season with two victories over Boston College, while the women’s soccer team prepares for the ACC Championships that are set to begin Nov. 10.