Rick Scott, Dalhousie University’s women’s volleyball head coach knew he had a talented player when he recruited Julie Moore. He coached her in her senior year at Citadel High School in Halifax.
But he wasn’t expecting the immediate success she had in her first season last year.
Moore led the AUS in kills with 228, which was 23 ahead of the next closest player, and she finished sixth nationally in kills-per-set, quickly establishing herself as one of the best offensive players in the country.
“I was pleasantly surprised but not shocked,” said Scott. “I knew she had the potential to do it, just it’s impressive to do that in your first year.”
Moore fell into the right situation with the Tigers: being previously coached by Scott gave her some familiarity with changes in competition level, schoolwork and lifestyle that happens with the jump from high school to university. She knew Scott’s coaching style and expectations.
The players on the team were also supportive. Mieke DuMont, a current fifth-year who’s been an Academic All-Canadian, helped Moore organize.
“I see Mieke as almost like a big sister,” Moore says. Her teammates are her best friends. “I can talk to them about anything.”
There’s talent everywhere on the team. The Tigers are able to maintain possession of the ball and move it around efficiently to put Moore in the right position to hit it. Setter Courtney Baker is one of the best in the country and is key in passing the ball to Moore.
“I felt so comfortable with all the girls on the court and Rick being our coach; it felt very right being on the court,” says Moore.
Now a few weeks into her second season, Scott doesn’t want Moore to just be satisfied, he wants her to continue to work hard and improve. He says she is an all-around good player but still wants her to work on all areas of her game.
Scott says the best athletes in the word are never satisfied. “They don’t become great just because they’re talented, they work really hard to get there.”
Moore is a great athlete, beyond her volleyball skills she has also played hockey at the provincial level. Scott said Moore’s athleticism combined with her strong work ethic is what makes her a great player.
This year, Moore wants to grow her leadership ability. As a second-year, she wants to help the first-years get adjusted to university life, because an important part of being a leader is helping with little details, like letting them know when it’s team laundry time.
“I hope to be what she [DuMont] was for me for the new players coming in.”
Now that Moore is established as a top player in the league, she won’t be taking opponents by surprise – that’ll be a new challenge moving into her second year.
“When people are keen on you, aware of you, that can be harder, so it’ll be a big challenge for her,” said Scott. If her previous success is any indication, she can handle it just fine.