GIRLS VOLLEYBALL has really taken off in Terrace with three of this year’s graduating girls off to play for university teams in the fall.
The team’s all-star Cassidy Kitchen even landed a whopping $32,400 volleyball scholarship to play for Mount Royal University in Calgary.
“It is a pretty competitive environment for women’s volleyball and typically all the spots go to academy or big name club players. We are super proud to have players in that league of play,” said longtime coach Carmen Didier of the girls’ success.
It was clear years ago that Kitchen was on track to be a major player in the sport when she played for Team BC U17 and U18 teams. Last summer, she helped propel the B.C. team to a bronze medal finish at the national cup held in Winnipeg.
Kitchen was chosen as an outside hitter for the Mount Royal Cougars and has now signed a five year contract to play for the team.
Preet Bath also claimed a spot on the Durham College team in Ontario and has a $1,000 scholarship towards her environmental technology degree for every semester that she plays for them.
And Cassidy Twiname landed a place on the team at Vancouver Island University where she will play volleyball six months out of the year and study sciences.
All three comrades led the Caledonia team to their highest ever finish at this year’s AAA senior girls high school provincials in Nanaimo.
Coach Didier said that the girls’ success could be attributed to their “commitment to setting personal and team goals.”
“All the girls are good students good athletes and not afraid of hard work,” she continued.
A fourth teammate Brooklyn Fekete also had two offers to play ball in Ontario, but chose to go to UNBC for health sciences.
Morgan Monkman from Smithers, who plays with the girls on the regional team, is going to play for Camosun College in Victoria.
And grade 11 student Carly Davies who also competed with the senior girls has many offers both in Canada and the States, and her coach expects her to committed to a team by this fall.
The girls were scouted by the post-secondary coaches when they played at the high school championships with the Caledonia team last year.
“Being part of this team and going down south opened up a lot of opportunities for us,” Kitchen explained.
Head coach at Mount Royal, Sandra Lamb, who spotted Kitchen at the tournament and got to see her play, said that “her length and gritty approach to the game has been effective at every level, this small town kid has been successful at every level and we are looking for her to do the same [here].”
Kitchen says that she is looking forward to the new challenge and is excited for the higher caliber play.
In the past few months, she has passed on some of her skills to the younger players and helped coach the 15U Zone championship team that competed July 17-19 against the best of the best in the province.
As the talented players get ready to leave for school, they say that they’re sad to leave their school team. The girls have always played together since the beginning of their senior volleyball career and have become very tight-nit over the years.
“It’s definitely going to be a big adjustment because I’ve pretty much played with the same girls for three years,” said Bath. “But I’m excited for change that will come with this new opportunity.”
Her feelings were echoed by teammate Twiname who said she “can’t wait to play with new athletes and have a new team, but [she] will miss my old team a lot.”