A Spartans star in high school, Alison Quiring has decided to remain a Spartan in university.
The 17-year-old Neelin Spartans standout has committed to joining the Trinity Western University Spartans women’s volleyball team in the Canada West conference this fall. For Quiring, a 6-foot-1 middle who was widely regarded as one of the top half-dozen players in the province, it’s a huge relief to finally settle on a scholarship offer after also strongly considering remaining in Brandon with the BU Bobcats.
"Brandon was definitely a top contender," said Quiring, who added her decision came down to how comfortable she felt with the TWU players and coaches and the Christian aspect of the university. "I really liked the girls and I felt I fit in with the team very well when I went there and I really liked (head coach) Ryan (Hofer) and the whole coaching staff. I really got along with them well and we have similar beliefs and we see eye-to-eye on a lot of things.
"Obviously they are an excellent team, so that was attractive, as were a lot of other schools. So that was one of my problems because I had a lot of options. Especially with Brandon, too, they are both such good teams, so I kind of had to take volleyball out of the equation and think if I were not going to play volleyball next year, what would make the most sense in that aspect. And for that, Trinity made the most sense for me, so that definitely helped in deciding."
Quiring, a graduating all-star and member of Volleyball Manitoba’s all-Manitoba team, helped lead Neelin to four straight provincial high school volleyball finals, winning the varsity girls title in 2012 and the JV girls championship in 2010. That success, combined with her size, athletic ability and work ethic, created multiple opportunities and a difficult decision for Quiring.
"It was always constantly on my mind and every aspect of my life I would think about something and it seemed like everything reminded me of my decision that I needed to make, so it’s nice to be able to stop looking at all the negatives in different schools and just be excited about the school that I am going to go to," said Quiring, whose older sister Angelica plays CIS volleyball for the Calgary Dinos. "I just feel privileged to have one offer and then to have multiple offers and have to make a decision, it was frustrating at times but it was important for me to take a step back and see just how lucky I am ...
"I know I am excited to be going away and being able to be independent and see how I last on my own. I think that is a really important experience for me, so that was another plus, for sure."
Quiring joins a TWU that was ranked third in the country while going 17-5 this season and has now advanced to CIS nationals for a fourth straight year after winning a bronze medal at the Canada West conference Final Four in Vancouver over the weekend. The TWU Spartans, based in Langley, B.C., currently feature five middles, although three are already in their fourth years of eligibility.
"There is always an opportunity, I think, but I am not expecting to be able to crack the starting lineup in my first year, for sure," said Quiring, who is also a member of the Storm 18U girls club volleyball team. "They are an excellent team and they have excellent players, so it will be really tough for me ... I do plan on working really hard and eventually getting a starting spot and being an influential player on the team."
Quiring is the fifth member of the Spartans to a earn CIS scholarship, joining libero Jamie Campbell (BU Bobcats), setter Amy Gordon (Mount Royal Cougars), outside hitter Kristine Ward (Regina Cougars) and Paige Thomson (Victoria Vikes women’s basketball), with a couple of others also being recruited in what has been a superb graduating class for Neelin high school coach Kevin Neufeld.
"It’s great to see these girls being rewarded for all of their hard work and dedication by earning opportunities to play at the Canada West level, which we all know is the toughest conference in the country, so I am really happy for them," Neufeld said.