Posted on: December 5, 2017
What do the Thompson Rivers University WolfPack volleyball teams have in common when it comes to recruiting for the 2018-19 season? Both coaches have made a concerted effort to recruit top players from the province of Alberta.
Following the announcement that men’s head coach Pat Hennelly has signed three players out of Edmonton, women’s head coach Chad Grimm is pleased to add middle Hayley McNaught of Woking, Alberta.
McNaught is the team’s third announced committed recruit for next year and the second from the ‘Wild Rose’ province.
“I chose TRU because I liked the feel of the campus and thought a smaller university would be a good learning environment for me,” said the six foot McNaught who will be taking courses aimed at achieving a Bachelor of Arts degree majoring in communications. “I had heard really good things about the TRU coaching staff and program from a coach I work with in Grande Prairie and that I like the fact the team seems to be constantly improving and striving to be better. The girls on the team were very friendly and made me feel welcome during my visit.”
McNaught’s coach at Spirit River Regional Academy is Wendy Menzies. She has coached her the past three seasons. “Hayley’s role on our team has been that of a middle hitter and blocker. She is definitely one of our leaders. She is a huge part of our offense getting around 65 % of our kills. She is an awesome teammate on and off the court. She is positive and takes constructive criticism really well. Her work ethic is second to none and puts in lots of extra hours working on her skills and has really been a treat to coach.”
McNaught has helped lead her team to a 60-2 record, winning six gold medals and a bronze in seven tournaments. On November25, 2017 her team won the Alberta 2A provincials for the second straight year. They went undefeated all weekend only losing one set.
Menzies adds: “ Hayley has improved a lot in the last three years as she has increased her strength, lifting weights and training. She has also improved her swing and swing speed along with her footwork and foot speed. She is a hard worker and puts in a lot of extra one on one practices with myself and other coaches to improve. She has also learned to be mentally prepared for our games.”
Coach Grimm on his latest recruit: “Hayley was a part of Team Alberta this past summer as a middle blocker and also works with long time high school coach Hugh Bartlett who both Nathan (WolfPack assistant Bennett) and myself know. Hayley comes from a very small town in northern Alberta and will bring some size to our team in the middle position and is also a dedicated athlete and hard worker. I think Hayley will fit in well with the group and I believe has a lot of upside. Although she hasn’t had the volleyball experience of some players coming from bigger programs I think Hayley has the ability to develop quickly because of her work ethic. We are really looking forward to adding another key piece to our group and another character student athlete to the WolfPack for next season.”
“I still think I need to improve my speed of play and strengthen my defensive skills, said McNaught, who played with Team Alberta this past summer as did fellow WolfPack recruit Lizzy Reimer (Edmonton, AB). McNaught was also looking at the University of Saskatchewan, Brandon University and Memorial University (St. John’s Newfoundland) before deciding on Thompson Rivers.
The other confirmed recruit for the WolfPack women’s volleyball team for 2018-19, aside from those previously mentionsed is Erin Mutch of Oak Bay Secondary in Victoria, BC. Mutch is a power/outside hitter.
More recruit announcements will be confirmed later this month.