Posted on: December 20, 2017
The Thompson Rivers University WolfPack women’s volleyball team will have a large contingent of players from Alberta when it hits the floor to begin the 2018-19 Canada West season.
Head coach Chad Grimm and the WolfPack are pleased to announce they have signed their third recruit out of the Volleyball Alberta program for next season.
5’10 outside hitter Siobhan Toal (pronounced Shi-von Toll) from Strathcona Composite High School and the Pandas Volleyball U18 club program has formally committed to the WolfPack. Toal joins club teammate Lizzy Reimer and Hayley McNaught of Woking as the Alberta recruits for next season.
“TRU has always been high on my priority list when I was thinking about a university,” says Toel, who was her high school teams MVP in grade 11. “The volleyball program has an amazing reputation and I have heard great things about the coaching staff. As well, the smaller campus size will allow me to have a more personal experience with my professors, which is a huge advantage compared to larger universities.”
Toal was also considering the University of Windsor and will be taking courses aimed at achieving a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Philosophy.
Wade Rolph is the head of the PE department at Stratchona and has coached Toel with the Lords the past three seasons (2015-2018). “Siobhan was our captain in grade 11 and was a critically important leader the past two years. She attacks well and is our emotional leader. She is the type of young lady that everyone wants to be around. Very extroverted!”
He adds” Siobhan has always had a fiery personality and has been leaned on very often to be a meaningful player for us starting in grade 10. She has always risen to the challenge in big games and is a great teammate who is loved by all. She has always performed well when her coaches believe in her.”
She helped lead the Lords twice at the Alberta Provincial 4A championships where they finished third and fifth.
When asked what she thought her greatest strengths as a player are, Toal stated “My work ethic is one of my biggest strengths. Along with my refusal to quit in tough situations. Both are big reasons why I have come so far in this sport. My teammate’s successes are also my successes. I think that the support I bring to those I play alongside with is just as important.”
Toal knows that the jump to USPORTS and Canada West volleyball will be still be a big one. “It will be a big change in terms of speed of play. There are also some very talented outsides ahead of me on the team, so there will be serious competition for my position. Honestly, I look forward to the challenge and can’t wait to be part of the team.”
Says Coach Grimm about his latest recruit: “We are excited to add another good person, student, competitor and athlete to our program. Siobhan plays for the very competitive Pandas program and has a good sense of the game and what it takes to be successful at the next level. She is a strong athlete and will push the level of competition in practice for all of our outside hitters. Siobhan is a solid passer and excellent defender and is explosive enough to score the ball as well. I think along with our other incoming recruits next year, Siobhan will help to solidify a strong culture of competition and comradery within the women’s volleyball program at TRU. We look forward to having Siobhan join us next season!”
Other TRU recruits for next season from high school are: Erin Mutch (5’9”, outside hitter, Victoria, BC-Oak Bay Secondary/Team BC/Victoria Volleyball Association Black), and Macey Hogg (6’2”, middle, Terrace, BC-Caledonia Secondary/Northwest Rage 18U).
The WolfPack women have Alberta natives’ setter Abby Spratt (Calgary) and outside hitter Morgan Rigelhof (St. Albert) eligible to return next year. As well setter Anastasiya Muzyka is Ukranian but she and her parents immigrated to Edmonton. She is eligible to return in 2018-19 as well.
SIDE OUTS: Reimer on her current club mate and future WolfPack teammate: “I have known Siobhan for four years and played alongside her in club volleyball the past two. She is a very hard working and dedicated player. She is always supportive and upbeat. Siobhan has the ability to use humor in high pressure situations which is useful to help others relax. I really enjoy playing alongside her and am very excited to be her teammate for the next five years at TRU. I think the fact that we are so familiar with one another will help both of us make the transition to Canada West and university life as a whole easier. I would like to think I had a positive influence in her decision to make Thompson Rivers her home for post-secondary education and for volleyball. I think it is great that TRU is establishing a strong connection with Edmonton because it will be nice to see more familiar faces on Kamloops.”