Daven Pascal sets the ball in Vincent Massey Vikings practice this week. (COLIN CORNEAU/BRANDON SUN)
Vincent Massey Vikings head coach Kurt Hunter believes his varsity boys’ volleyball team has been a little undersized the past few years, but that’s not the case right now.
This year’s squad features a towering 6-foot-7 middle in Daven Pascal. The Grade 12 student has been a dominating force for the Vikings as he’s near the top of the team’s statistics in hitting percentage (.375) and blocks.
Pascal’s move into the starting lineup has done a lot for Massey, which dropped its opener in the Brandon High School Volleyball League, but won the Brandon University Bobcats high school tournament last weekend.
"He’s brought a steady offence up the middle," Hunter said. "He’s 6-foot-7 and when he’s attacking the ball quite well it makes it much more challenging for teams to defend and also allows us a little more stability in blocking."
Hunter believes Pascal is good enough to play at the university level.
So does BU head coach Grant Wilson. Wilson has been impressed by Pascal and believes he has what it takes to make the jump to CIS volleyball.
"With his size and athleticism, he seems like a really good kid who’s going to work hard," Wilson said. "He could have a big future in university volleyball down the road. From a Brandon University standpoint, he’s somebody we’re very interested in and would love to have him wear the blue and gold down the road."
Pascal has thought a lot about playing sports at the university level, but he’s torn on which to pursue. Pascal’s first love was basketball before he started playing volleyball. Now he likes both sports and has been told by coaches he could play either at the university level.
However, his opinion on which option to choose varies depending upon which season it is.
"When volleyball season comes around, I’m looking at volleyball," he said. "When basketball comes around, I’m looking at basketball. … It’s pretty heavy on my mind. I’m dealing with school work and sports and university next year."
Regardless of what sport he picks, Pascal is working hard to play at the next level. He can be found in the weight room on a regular basis as he tries to add some muscle to his frame. He’s also spending a lot of time with his coaches so he can learn as much as he can in his final year of high school.
Hunter believes Pascal’s attitude has changed as well, which he thinks will bode well for his young middle in the future.
"He’s more confident," Hunter said. "He’s a big guy and he has confidence in himself that he’s going to be able to score points."
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition September 29, 2012