Manhattan College volleyball coach Lora Sarich Egbert is running practices by yelling instructions from outside the team’s gym due to her unvaccinated status.
The Quadrangle, Manhattan’s student newspaper, reported Tuesday that Egbert received an exemption to the school’s vaccine mandate, but in order to comply, cannot step foot in the team’s gym.
The Jaspers, who are 2-16, are openly frustrated with their coach.
“Coach’s vaccination status has greatly affected our season and our team dynamic,” senior setter Erin Prevo told The Quadrangle. “There were three games in our preseason that had to be cancelled/rescheduled, and we were completely left in the dark as to why.”
Manhattan athletic director Marianna Reilly told the paper that Fordham and St. Francis canceled home games against the Jaspers when New York City’s vaccine mandate came into effect.
“It’s very difficult for [Egbert] to be coaching from the open doors into the patio,” an anonymous player told The Quadrangle. “She’s not even in the gym. It’s hard to create a high-intensity practice when you’re not even in the gym.”
Reilly didn’t discuss Egbert’s vaccination status or employment when commenting, saying only that she was “aware that other colleges and universities have taken steps regarding non-vaccinated employees.” Washington State fired football coach Nick Rolovich for not complying with the state’s vaccine mandate. Rolovich applied for an exemption and was denied.
“My health information is private, and I am in compliance with Manhattan’s vaccine policy,” Egbert told The Quadrangle in an email.
Egbert is coaching the team in-person on the road, but at home, two substitutes are reportedly volunteering to coach the Jaspers. When Manhattan beat St. Peter’s for its latest win, Egbert was reportedly at a classroom on campus.
“He was very positive and focused on winning, which has never been a goal of ours,” one player said of replacement coach Peter Volkert. “It sounds funny, but our team goal is always to have fun, but he came in and made it very winning-oriented and our first win was with a different coach, just after meeting him.”
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