Brandon’s Meaghan Robertson hammers a ball at a pair of Regina players in a scrimmage on Sunday at BU. (TIM SMITH/BRANDON SUN)
Meaghan Robertson’s successful first two seasons with the Brandon University Bobcats women’s volleyball team has created a bit of a problem for her: Now she has very high expectations to live up to this year.
During her rookie campaign with BU, the Crocus Plains graduate started 16 matches and finished seventh in the conference with a .256 hitting percentage. She upped her hitting percentage to .314 last season, the fourth best in Canada West, and averaged 2.71 kills per set, which was second only to left side Jaryn Ruether on the Bobcats roster.
Now in her third year at BU, the 6-foot-2 middle is hoping to maintain those numbers, if not find a way to improve them.
"Right now I’m just trying to keep what I had last year," Robertson said. "Last year and my first year really set high expectations for myself. Now I just want to keep those. I just need to work hard and focus (to do that). It’s just as simple as focusing and having that little goal and just try and keep that expectation. I have to keep focusing to get that."
If Robertson can continue to develop and become a little more consistent this season, BU head coach Lee Carter believes she could become a Canada West conference all-star.
One thing that could hamper Robertson this season is her shoulder. She’s been bothered by it this fall and had X-rays to try to diagnose a problem, but doctors haven’t found anything. Robertson is hoping it isn’t anything major and won’t cause her to miss any time with the team.
The 19-year-old physical education student is a little concerned if she does have to sit out a game or two, since the Bobcats aren’t short of talented middles. Alexis Loewen and Larissa Vonkeman are the other two returning middles and Robertson feels like she’s also being pushed by rookies Jodie Baker and Jasmine Lafournaise, who joined the squad this season.
Robertson also wants to make sure she doesn’t lose any attack opportunities, which may happen based on the development of left sides Shanlee McLennan, Chloe Reimer and Brianna Walsh and right side Victoria Dakin. Robertson noticed improvements in their games over the summer and while that could be a good thing to balance the BU attack, Robertson likes being fed the ball.
"I guess it makes it feel like more of a team when it’s not just focused on me, but at the same time I’m used to the spotlight so I want to stay in the spotlight a little bit," Robertson said.
In addition to trying to live up to last season’s numbers, Robertson is also looking at trying to become a little bit more of a leader on this young Bobcats team.
There aren’t any fifth-year players on the squad and Loewen and setter Kellie Baker are the only players in their fourth year of eligibility. Because of that, Carter is looking to some of his third-year players to step up a little bit more, but he likes what Robertson has brought to the table so far this pre-season.
"As one of the older girls on the team as a third-year player, she needs to lead by example and in order to do that, she has to make her teammates better and perform when the time comes to perform and back the talk," he said. "Meaghan’s not a big talker on the team, but she’s a big action person. We expect her to stay that way."
The Bobcats begin the Canada West season on Oct. 26-27 in Regina against the Cougars.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition October 16, 2012