UAA volleyball player quarantines thousands of miles from home

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Fewer than 120 students are currently on campus at the University of Alaska Anchorage after coronavirus concerns had university leaders instructing students to return home after spring break this March. Many will be finishing the rest of the semester through distance learning.

(KTUU)

While most students were able to return home, some were not. UAA volleyball standout Vera Pluharova, who hails from the Czech Republic, is one of those stuck on campus.

“I could have gone home, but the problem is, I don’t know when the borders will open again since I have to come back early in July for Volleyball,” Pluharova said over the phone this week. “The risk is, I’ll be stuck in Czech.”

Since Pluharova can’t return home, she has to stick around campus, leaving her with lots of free time compared to her typical student-athlete schedule.

“I read much more, not for school, but books for fun,” she said.

Pluharova said her family began to tell her months ago about the rising concern over coronavirus in the Czech Republic.

“It wasn’t so real for me," she said, "until it started here."

Pluharova is able to keep in contact with her family in Europe over social media, but - as many do - finds herself missing daily interaction during her quarantine.

“Last week, I missed volleyball a lot, and this week I miss my friends and my family,” Pluharova said.

In March, the National Collegiate Athletic Association granted an extra year of eligibility for Division II athletes after their seasons were canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. No such decision has been made for NCAA sports falling outside the spring season.

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