The SAIT Trojans women’s volleyball team had a successful season last year, but is aiming even higher this season.
“I have a group of very good athletes,” said Coach Art O’Dwyer, who begins his fifth season with the Trojans. “I like the interaction with the athletes. I also enjoy the opportunity to help an athlete get better at a sport they love.”
O’Dwyer described the team as very tight, but said they still push each other to perform.
“We all have a healthy relationship,” he said. “They respect me as a coach and I respect them as players. I’m closer to being their dad than their friend.”
Last year the team finished fourth in the South Division and then came fifth in the playoffs.
“Our goal this year is to get a medal at provincials,” O’Dwyer said. “We have an opportunity to correct things and work on ourselves.”
The team played well last year, but has a good chance of achieving even bigger goals with new players added to the lineup, third-year player Shantelle Jonassen said. “As a team we beat some overall records.”
She thinks the biggest obstacle this year will probably be height, but that means the team will have to work harder on their defense and play more as a team. Jonassen expects to be more of a team leader this year and more disciplined.
Jayden Roch, a first-year Trojans player said, “I expect to be working really hard to win on the court this year.”
Added Megan Brennan, who is going into her fourth year on the team: “It’s a new team with different dynamics.We do a lot of stuff together – we are very close.”
She noted that last year the women’s Trojans made the provincials for the first time. Brennan loves volleyball for how technical it is, making team work essential. She and her teammates feel like family, she said.
“It is very team-oriented because you can’t touch the ball more than once,” Brennan said. “Our team is very close. We spend the weekends practicing and we even do homework together.”