Tuesday, February 17, 2009

DeGroot named OUA libero of the year and other volleyball notes

Continuing in the vein of "high school classmates who are more successful than me", it was announced yesterday that my former high school volleyball teammate Gabe DeGroot earned the OUA libero of the year award [Guelph Mercury]. That's very impressive, as he's a CIS rookie. Before going to Guelph, Gabe was playing at King's College out in Edmonton (where other former Fraser Valley Christian players Joel VanHuizen and David Triemstra are still on the team). I ran into him earlier this year before a Gaels-Gryphons game and he said he was recruited by Guelph head coach Cal Wigston for his play in the college league; goes to show that you can find some quality talent in unconventional places. More impressive still is how well Gabe's adjusted to playing libero; I'm not sure where he was playing at King's, but he was primarily a setter with our high school team. It's great to see him come in and make an immediate impact in OUA volleyball, and according to Tony Saxon of the Guelph Mercury, it sounds like he'll be back next year.

That should be a very solid Gryphons team coming back next season. They did well this year before running into McMaster in the semi-finals, and they have an OUA All-Rookie team player in Winston Rosser and a second-team player in Kevin Stewart [Guelph Athletics]. It also goes to show the increasing parity [myself, Queen's Journal] in the OUA, which was further demonstrated this past week by Waterloo's upset of Western in the quarterfinals and narrow loss to Queen's in the semis. It's going to be a Queen's-McMaster clash in the finals yet again, but the other teams are getting closer, and that's a good thing for the state of volleyball in this province.

By the way, that final's going to be quite the battle, starting tonight at 7 p.m. here in Kingston. McMaster went 17-3 this year, while Queen's was 16-4. On the individual front, the Marauders have three OUA All-Stars [OUA release] (Jeremy Groenveld, Peter Hrkal and Nathan Groenveld), while the Gaels have two (Joren Zeeman and Jeff DeMeza]; all three of McMaster's players made the first team, while Zeeman was selected as a first-team all star and DeMeza was chosen for the second team. I'll be at tonight's game and should be able to put up a few thoughts after the game; I'm also hoping to go to Hamilton for the second and third (if needed) matches to provide coverage on those.

No comments:

Post a Comment