After winning four AUS championships in four years, fifth-year volleyball player Mieke DuMont is in the final stretch of her successful university career.
She credits Tim Maloney, Dalhousie’s executive director of athletics and recreation, for making her experience at Dal so memorable.
“It has been such an amazing experience, I’ll definitely miss it,” says DuMont trying to hold back tears. “Tim and his staff make it like a family. So it will be a big part gone, but I will never forget it.”
DuMont moved across the country from Kamloops, B.C. to play at Dal. She’s been one of the most talented players ever since her first season in 2014-2015. Every year DuMont is second on the team in points scored, and she’s also impactful on defence; consistently in the top five on the team in digs. The team’s Head Coach Rick Scott says she’s also a primary passer, a good server and a good blocker.
“A lot of times people just see the attacking, but it is the other things that make her a valuable player,” says Scott.
What makes a great athlete
All great athletes have one thing in common: they all work hard for their success. DuMont is no exception. During Munroe Day weekend, Scott gave the team the weekend off. But 10 a.m. on Saturday morning, DuMont was in the weight room with another teammate –– even though it wasn’t mandatory.
That work ethic also translates into the classroom. DuMont has been an Academic-All-Canadian during every one of her four completed years. Last year, she won the President’s Award as the top Dal athletes for academics, athletics, leadership, and community service.
“I guess I have put a lot of pressure on myself for school, but over the years I have learned to relax a bit more about it and kind of enjoy it a bit more,” says DuMont.
Her work ethic, combined with success on and off the court, made her team captain for the past two years. As a captain, she tries to help players stay organized and be supportive.
“I see Mieke as almost like a big sister,” said second-year teammate Julie Moore about DuMont in December.
DuMont says her team is close. They play laser tag or go for team pool parties before the season begins. And movie nights are a common occurrence during the season.
‘I wish I had a sixth year’
When DuMont was early in her university career, the senior players told her about how fast their time went as university athletes. DuMont didn’t believe that, but now she knows it is true.
“I found that every year has gone by faster and faster, it could be because you are more comfortable with the environment and everything,” says DuMont. “I always say I wish I had a sixth year so I could just stay here.”
The Tigers are undefeated so far this season and haven’t lost a game in the AUS since November 2017. They’re ranked as the best team in the country. The one thing she hasn’t been able to accomplish yet is winning a national medal. It’s something she would like to finish off her career with.
Outside of team success, Scott told DuMont to relax and make sure she enjoys the last few weeks.
“He talked about sometimes in your last year you kind of want it a little too much,” says DuMont. “It is kind of nice to know that he understands what you may be thinking.”
Scott will miss DuMont as a Dalhousie Tiger.
“She has been kind of a model athlete, and we will miss her for sure,” said Scott.
Four and a half years later, DuMont is happy with her decision to be a Tiger.
“It was definitely one of the biggest decisions and one of the best decisions I made.”