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Sunny collegiate futures now partly cloudy due to pandemic

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DALEVILLE, Va. (WFXR) — Collegiate athletic careers are on the horizon for the Lord Botetourt pair that etched their names into school history. But that future is a little cloudy because of the pandemic.

“It’s such a weird time because I can ask questions but our coaches a few weeks ago didn’t know what was going on,” senior Miette Veldman said. “It’s just being patient and just being hopeful and having faith that it’s going to follow through.”

Veldman is headed to James Madison to play volleyball. But her preparations for Division I competition have been limited to at-home workouts.

“I’ve been doing some jumping and then some workouts on my own and trying to get touches on the volleyball as much as possible,” Veldman said. “Because we know we’re going to come in and be like, ‘wow we haven’t played in like two to three months.’ Most girls would still be playing right now. So getting touches whenever I can and trying to stay in shape, some sort of shape, as much as I can.”

Her basketball and volleyball teammate Kenleigh Gunter recently made her decision to play volleyball for Division III Randolph College, with hopes to add softball to the mix as well.

“I had been thinking for awhile too but I just decided, okay D3 was good for me,” Gunter said. “I felt like, when I visited, it just felt like home.  I know the team, I’m really excited for the team. I got to meet, the other day, people that would be in my class, so that was good.”

For now, there’s still one piece of business left for this year’s seniors.

“I’m hoping as soon as this thing is lifted, we can make a tentative date to get together because we haven’t picked out rings yet,” head coach Renee Favaro said. “We’re really excited to get together and pick out that fifth ring. And for some of the girls, it’s their first ring. Everybody is just excited to see each other.”

A ring that, for Veldman and Gunter, will be one for the thumb.

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