Airdrie volleyball player wins gold medal at nationals
By: Lucas Punkari
| Posted: Thursday, May 15, 2014 10:48 am
The 2013-14 club volleyball season wrapped up on a high note for Airdrie’s Mikaelyn Sych on May 11 in Edmonton, as she and the Calgary Dinos U17 team won the gold medal in the Girls U17 division at the 2014 Canadian Open Volleyball Nationals.
“It was just a great accomplishment that we had as a team, and it was a great reward from all of the hard work that we put in throughout the year,” Sych said.
“We just kept our composure through all of our games during the tournament, and I think that was one of the keys for us winning the gold medal,” she added.
“Even when the games got tight, we just made sure that we were making the right shots at the right time, and not playing over our heads.”
Sych, a 16-year-old Grade 11 student at George McDougall High School, was competing in the national championships for second time with the Dinos, who won the bronze medal at the 2013 event.
With a year experience already in her back pocket, Sych felt she preformed well against many of the top players in the country.
“I just wanted to make sure that I was doing my job every single time out on the court, and that my teammates were able to put their trust in me,” Sych said.
“We all wanted to make sure that we were working together as one unit, and I think we were able to do just that,” she added.
In the championship game, the Dinos prevailed in a three-set encounter (17-25, 25-17, and 18-16) with the Force Volleyball Club from Surrey, B.C., in a rematch of last year’s bronze-medal game.
“It was great to play that team once again, and it was another exciting game against them,” Sych said.
“After we lost the first set, we were focused on doing the little things right and we kept our composure out on the court, because we knew that the game wasn’t over.”
“Our team and the coaches all talked to one another after the first set, and we all wanted to keep pushing,” she added.
The most memorable game of the tournament for Sych occurred earlier in the day on May 11, as she and the Dinos defeated the defending national champion Forest City Volleyball Club from London, Ont. in the quarterfinals.
“Earlier in the season, we had a chance to go down to London and play against them, so that gave us a little bit of an idea of what they were like as a team,” Sych said.
“They were a good team once again, but we stepped up our game, and I would say that was the most exciting match of the whole weekend.”
With the club volleyball season now in the record books, Sych will be busy gearing up for her final exams at George McDougall High School and plans to relax a bit during the summer before the 2014-15 campaign with the Dinos.
“Next year, I will be moving up to play with the U18 Dinos team, and I’m really excited about that,” Sych said.
“They won the bronze medal in Edmonton this past weekend as well, so it’s going to be really cool to be joining another successful program.”