The SAIT Trojans men’s volleyball season came to a successful end, with a third-place finish in the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC) season, and part of this success was due to the impressive play of Trojan rookie John Morley.
Morley, the 6’7″ outside, and hospitality management student, hails from Melbourne, Australia. He put up tremendous numbers during the season, posting a team leading 268 total points and 207 kills.
Asked what he attributes his success on the court to, Morley replied, “I am surrounded by tons of talent. It helps when you have teammates that know the game so well.”
Morley, just completing his first year of hospitality management, plans to return to SAIT for, according to Morley, another three years.
“I’m taking the course [hospitality management] because it was the only thing I could get into on such short notice,” Morley explained.
“The instructors are great. I just think next year I would like to go into something like electrical engineering.”
Morley seems to fit right in at SAIT as head coach Dan Gilbert has recruited two other international students, one from Brisbane, Australia, Tom Menzies, and another, Lachie Pollock, from Christchurch, New Zealand. In almost sitcom style, the three athletes share a basement suite off-campus.
“It’s great to live with these guys,” said Menzies, who is also hospitality management student.
“It has its ups and downs but it is almost exactly like being in the gym with them, but all the time.
“That gave us a connection on the court, so that is a definite benefit.”
While Morley has found a home away from home with the SAIT Trojans, he did not come straight from down-under. In the 2011-12 season, he played for Grande Prairie College.
“I left Australia because I just wanted to play post-secondary sport,” said Morley.
“I was originally recruited for both basketball and volleyball but I couldn’t do both While basketball will always have a special place in my heart, I’m a volleyball player through and through.”
Morley explained that he chose to leave Grande Prairie because of what he had heard from others about head coach Dan Gilbert’s expertise.
“Other guys on the team told me about Dan [Gilbert],” Morley explained.
“He is the most dedicated coach I have played for and he always backs up what he says with facts.
“He will tell you that you are doing something wrong, explain why, and show you why it works better the other way,” said Morley. “I wouldn’t want to play for anyone else.”