Rick Scott isn’t ready to give up the Atlantic University Sport’s (AUS) banner anytime soon, and he believes this year’s team has what it takes to hold on to it.
“I’m excited about the year,” says Scott, head coach of the Dalhousie women’s volleyball team. “We have a good mix of returning players and young players so I’m definitely looking forward to it and am optimistic.”
Scott, who was named AUS women’s volleyball coach of the year last year, says even though the team lost some highly talented players, there will be plenty of opportunities for other Tigers to step into a leadership role.
“Anytime you lose good players and good leaders it always becomes a challenge,” says Scott. “But I think we have a lot of good players coming in who can step up and do a great job for us.”
Notable players who have graduated include setter Hilary Sears and power Louise Facca, who was named team MVP.
Stepping into a leadership role for the Tigers will be Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) all-star Maggie Li and fifth-year players Marlee Powers, Raeesa Lalani, as well as Katherine Ryan, who was a member of the St. FX team for four years.
Ryan says she decided to switch to Dal for several reasons.
“I’ve always had a lot of respect for the Dalhousie team,” says Ryan. “I think that when Rick recruits, he recruits a certain type of person—like a well-rounded individual and I really admired that.”
After playing on St. FX for as long as she did, Ryan says she can already see a clear difference in the way Scott coaches.
“Rick runs a really tight practice that’s super competitive,” she says. “It’s kind of a holistic approach to coaching and running a practice.”
Scott is excited about the new additions to this year’s team and says there are several new players people should watch out for. Anna Dunn and Julie Thiesen are the squad’s top prospects from Nova Scotia, as well as Desiree Nouwen, from the Netherlands. Abby Czenze will be vying to follow in Sears’ footsteps as starting setter this year.
Dal’s season is set to begin at Acadia on Oct. 25. Scott believes his team is more than ready for what’s to come.
“We just want to focus on the process of getting better and better and every week,” says Scott. “We’re more focused on the way we play and the wins and loses will take care of themselves.”