Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 20/10/2015 (2166 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Alison Quiring is hoping to reach new heights with the Trinity Western University Spartans women’s volleyball team.
The six-foot-one middle is in her second year with the Canada West conference squad and hopes to see the court more than last year. The Neelin graduate did not make the travelling roster last season and appeared in just three sets over two matches, recording a kill, a dig and assisting on a block. She made the travelling squad this season but was unable to crack the Spartans’ starting lineup and is working hard to improve her vertical to earn more time on the court.
"I’m not really sure how things will play out this year," said Quiring, who appeared in the first set of Saturday’s match against the host Brandon University Bobcats. "At this point, I’m just focusing on getting better in the areas that I need to and whatever happens happens.
"Vertical is the main thing right now. That will improve basically everything else. Then I’ll be able to make more shots and I’ll be able to see the block better and things like that."
Although she didn’t see much playing time last season, Quiring loved life in British Columbia. The linguistics student got to study two middles in Alicia Perrin and Katelyn Devaney and was part of a team that won a national championship, which is fuelling her fire to play a bigger role on a contending team in Canadian Interuniversity Sport.
What may be even more valuable was learning about different roles on a team and how to lead from the sideline, something she rarely had to do in high school as she started nearly every match for the Spartans, who won provincial AAAA gold in her Grade 11 year and silver in Grade 12.
Being a good teammate is something the former Manitoba graduating all-star prides herself on, and it hasn’t gone unnoticed.
"Everybody puts so much emphasis on playing time and the role that Ali took on last year was incredible," said Spartans head coach Ryan Hofer. "If you look at the national finals last year, you look at a group of girls who were cheering on their team like crazy and she was a huge part of that. She’s the one who puts all our cheers together this year. She’s a glue. She’s a strong individual who has a strong sense of self-worth and with that she brings a lot of leadership to our team, even as a younger player. With it, it’s really special to see her leading on the sidelines.
"That day is going to come where she’s going to be on the floor, but right now her role is leading and she’s doing an exceptional job. We wouldn’t be the team that we would be without that leadership. It’s pretty special."
Although that day for Quiring to be on the court isn’t here just yet, Hofer thinks she will become a solid player. He praised the coaching she received in Brandon to develop a solid foundation and good ball control in her game. Once Quiring can jump a little higher, Hofer believes she’ll see the game differently and will contribute more.
Quiring is working hard to make that a reality, but she’s not afraid to enjoy the little rewards along the way, like her road debut in Brandon.
"It was really exciting," said Quiring, who played in 11 rallies. "It was definitely a different feel from high school. It was cool to play with my new teammates in front of my old teammates. It was fun and exciting."
Although they graduated six players last season, the Spartans look poised to make a run for another CIS championship. They are ranked No. 3 in Canada and opened conference play with a pair of three-set victories over the Bobcats, who are hosting nationals this season.
They would love to return to nationals and have a chance to defend their title this year, and that would mean even more to Quiring with the event taking place in Brandon in March.
"Once you’ve had that taste of a championship, it’s like we want to do that every year. Definitely we want to push for that again," she said.
"I’d love to (play for it in Brandon this year). That would be awesome. It would be great to come back and if I get to play a little bit more that would be cool too. That would be really fun."
» Twitter: @jasterch