One of the top young high school volleyball players in the province is leaving Brandon and heading west.
Neelin Spartans star setter Amy Gordon has verbally committed to play for the Mount Royal University Cougars women’s volleyball team in the 2014-15 Canada West conference season.
After weighing multiple options and offers through her senior year, the 18-year-old Gordon is happy to have finally made her choice.
"It was a tough decision and it took me like seven months to make it, so yeah, it was pretty tough," Gordon said last night.
"It was a huge weight on my shoulders for the last eight months, so it feels pretty good to kind of get it over with."
Gordon helped lead the Spartans to three straight trips to provincial high school volleyball finals, winning the JV title in 2011 and varsity girls’ championship in 2012, before falling to the MBCI Hawks in the 2013 final. A provincial AAAA all-star, Gordon was also named to Volleyball Manitoba’s six-member all-Manitoba team and was one of the most hotly recruited setters in Western Canada.
"It came down to BU, Mount Royal and the University of Manitoba; those were my last three options," said Gordon, who added that her decision in the end came down to wanting to leave the Wheat City and move to Calgary.
"It’s not what I didn’t like about BU, it was just wanting the experience to get away from home and stuff like that. … When I went for my visit, I really liked the closeknit group of girls that were on the team and just the whole atmosphere of the school was super fun and fit for what I wanted."
Gordon, who hopes to study arts or journalism at Mount Royal, joins an unranked Cougars team that missed the playoffs with a 7-15 record in Canada West this season. While fifth-year setter Mackenzie Allen graduates, the Royals will return a fourth-year setter in Jenna Smith.
"The spot is up for grabs, but I’m obviously going to have to work for it when I get there and with the setter right now, it’s going to be a good learning opportunity for me and stuff like that," Gordon said.
Gordon is the fourth Spartans starter to commit to university, with libero Jamie Campbell signing her letter of intent with the BU Bobcats, outside hitter Kristine Ward set to join the Regina Cougars, and middle Paige Thomson opting to play basketball for the Victoria Vikes next season. Star middle Alison Quiring has yet to make her decision.
Many of the Spartan seniors will play together one more time with the Storm 18U team at club volleyball provincials and nationals this spring.
"It’s actually kind of sad," Gordon said. "We’ve been playing together for what seems like ever and we are all going to split up, so that’s kind of sad."