There were plenty of butterflies in Kendra Bommersbach’s stomach when she agreed to play Brandon University Bobcats women’s volleyball team.
The 18-year-old Winnipegger knew the team was without a starting libero when she signed on the dotted line and they didn’t just want to groom her into the position, the Bobcats wanted her to start this season. Bommersbach hasn’t had long to get adjusted to the faster game at the Canada West level, but she feels she’s getting used to being Brandon’s starting defensive specialist through the team’s pre-season and first four conference matches.
"It’s really good," she said after practice on Thursday in preparation for today’s match (6 p.m.) against the Manitoba Bisons. "I’m learning a lot from the girls and they’re really good to me. It’s really hard. It’s a whole new game and a whole different level. It’s faster, but they’ve been patient with me too. Every day I’m learning something new from them."
BU head coach Lee Carter knows that there can’t be extraordinary expectations on Bommersbach this season. The 5-foot-4 physical education major spent her time in high school playing left side — leading the Miles Macdonell Buckeyes to the AAAA varsity girls’ provincial semifinal last season — but she has some experience at libero, as she was in that position with the Brandon Storm club team during the summer.
Carter knows Bommersbach is still learning the position, which is why he’s not expecting her to play at a fifth-year level. However, he believes she’s ahead of the curve for as first-year libero and she’s third on the Bobcats with 21 digs.
Carter also believes the strong ball-control lineup that he has on the court can help her become more comfortable during matches.
Based on what he’s seen so far, Carter believes there is a bright future for Bommersbach as his team’s libero, and he couldn’t be happier about that.
"That’s what we’re hoping for," he said. "Everyone we recruit we hope will stay for five years. Kendra’s athleticism would make her the perfect libero if we can keep developing her and if she keeps working as hard as she has this first semester."