Reflecting on the volleyball season’s end

Mya Fraser (She/Her) // Sports Editor
Jerry Kambashi (He/Him) // Illustrator 

A special shout-out and congratulations to the women’s volleyball team for being the only CapU team to earn a spot at the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) national championship this year, and doing so for the first time in ten years. 

Outside hitter Nnya Mbaoma was named a women’s First Team All-Star. Anika Gatto was named to the Second Team All-Stars while also being selected Top Libero.

The Blues finished third in their regular season and placed second at the PACWEST provincials — winning silver medals. They traveled to Red Deer, Alberta to compete from March 6 to 8 in the CCAA national championships. 

They won their first game over the Collège Lionel-Groulx Nordiques of Quebec. In the semi-finals, they lost to the first seeded team from Alberta, Lakeland College. They faced Ontario’s Humber Hawks in the bronze semi-finals but fell short. 

First year setter Sophie Yarish describes her time at Nationals as an amazing experience, noting how they had a banquet on the first day which helped break the ice and gave some opportunity to mingle amongst other players. 

Regarding the tournament, Yarish explains how awesome it was to see the team both competing hard and having fun. “We played hard every day and I’m so proud of the team,” she said. “The tournament was extremely well run and it was such a positive environment. It was incredible to watch some of the best teams in Canada play.”

She shares how the team has come a long way and she’s excited to see it continue to grow. “Each and every individual has improved from the beginning to end, and as a team we’ve created so much chemistry.”

Off season for the women’s volleyball team often involves lots of prep for the next season to come. “I like playing beach volleyball, getting touches and reps on an indoor court, watching film, and lifting.” Yarish and the team are looking to push even more boundaries in the following season. 

The men’s volleyball team had a more challenging season this year. Nonetheless, they won over the first ranked College of the Rockies in one of their last games and showed lots of potential for the next season to come. Outside hitter and Brazilian international student Dario Pereira was named a second team All-Star.

Despite not having as much success on the court as the team would’ve liked, second year setter Brayden Labossiere shares how the overall experience was still unforgettable. “I got to meet an amazing group of guys and create memories that I will cherish for years to come. Each day I found myself grateful to be a part of such a supportive school and team environment that helped me and supported me to become the best version of myself.”

Apart from meeting new team members, practicing hard and creating an even stronger team bond for next year, Labossiere expressed, “I am excited for the opportunity to represent our school and to be a part of something greater than myself.” 

In the off season, Labossiere explains how, “the focus shifts from preparing for the following week to preparing long-term for the season ahead.” This includes lots of strength and conditioning and a couple team practices weekly. “Additionally, over the summer, I spend a lot of time at Kits Beach playing beach volleyball, training and competing in tournaments.”

During this time, the CapU Blues Department of Athletics and Recreation will also be looking for a new head coach in the season to come. 

Follow both teams (@capuwvb and @capumvb) on Instagram to keep up to date on the volleyball teams. 

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