Kayla Solomon is bringing two of Brandon University’s well-respected programs together at last.
On Thursday, Solomon became the first BU music student to commit to play for the Bobcats women’s volleyball team, and the first BU athlete to be in the school’s renowned music program since Chelsey Hiebert joined the women’s basketball team in 2007. Hiebert spent four seasons with the squad.
Getting into the music program was Solomon’s top priority and the chance to play volleyball with the Bobcats was the icing on the cake.
"Brandon University has a stellar music program which alongside the success of the volleyball team made my decision to come to Brandon simple," Solomon said in a press release.
"I’ve always wanted to play volleyball in university. I am so lucky to get to study a subject that I am passionate about and be a part of a team that is so passionate. I am most excited about training alongside players that I have looked up to over the years and pushing myself to become the best athlete that I can be."
The 6-foot-0 Winnipegger played middle in high school at College Jeanne-Sauvé.
She is also a member of the 18-and-under Cobras club team that won provincials two weeks ago and is the fourth seed at nationals, which starts today in Edmonton.
Bobcats head coach Lee Carter is excited to have the program’s first music student and has already been teasing Solomon, who plays trumpet and piano and has been involved in choral, about singing the national anthem before Brandon’s home matches.
However, Carter likes the way Solomon plays on the court and believes her mind is one of her best attributes.
"She’s a very intelligent player," Carter said. "You really notice it. She processes things and you notice it when she’s playing the game. She’s always just a little bit ahead of the play. She’s got brilliant marks in school and she’s a well-spoken athlete and really finds ways to be successful and I like that in her."
Solomon, who could be moved to right side as well, rounds out Carter’s recruiting class, which includes setter Hope Schneider, a transfer from the University of Winnipeg, and middle Courtney Roberts, who is returning home after spending two seasons with the South Dakota State University Jackrabbits. Neelin Spartans libero Jamie Campbell as well as left side Nikki Majewski and middle Sara Barker of Winnipeg are also joining the team this season.
Carter knows having a student studying music may create some challenges as it is a demanding program and may create some issues to balance school and athletics. To help Solomon with that adjustment and to give her time to get used to university volleyball, Carter has been talking to her about redshirting next season.
"We’ve discussed about redshirting and I think that’s a good idea just so we can see how it matches up and how it fits," he said. "Also it will put a year gap between her and Sara, our other middle coming in. Then when she comes up, Jodie and Courtney are going into their fourth (and third) year (of eligibility) and she’ll be entering her first year."
CAT SCRAPS: The Bobcat cheerleading team is hosting spring tryouts at the Henry Champ Gymnasium on Sunday from 6-8 p.m., and Tuesday from 6:30-8:30 a.m.