Cougar volleyball player wins award

Here’s a mug shot, I mean headshot, definitely headshot./ University of Regina Cougars

Here’s a mug shot, I mean headshot, definitely headshot./ University of Regina Cougars

Cougar volleyball player wins award

Much like many of the sports teams at University of Regina, the women’s volleyball team is not off to the greatest start, and that’s putting it nicely. The Cougars have started this season 0-6, which is their worst start for as far as the stats go back on their site, which is 2006-07. They’ve had a few 0-5 starts since then, but have never fallen to 0-6. Luckily, I am not here to write about the team itself. I am here to write about one of their rookies who won the 2015 Saskatchewan Volleyball Association’s (SVA) 18-and-Under Player of the Year, Haley Wagar.

The player of the year awards, that look at individual and team performances from sanctioned tournaments and provincial team competitions and are chosen by a committee of Sask. Volleyball staff in the high performance areas, came as a big surprise to Haley, who didn’t even know she was nominated.

“I didn’t even know I had a chance to win, my mom texted me saying congratulations and told me to check my emails from SVA,” said the first-year Cougar.

Being about to go into her first year of CIS sports, winning the 18U player of the year was a really nice confidence booster for the Macklin, Saskatchewan native, and with her opportunities to play for the provincial team, she was more prepared for what the transition to CIS would be like.

“The transition from high school and club caliber to CIS is quite a big transition. The woman in this league are stronger and bigger and the game is a lot faster,” said Wagar. “But being able to play on the provincial team and compete at the Western Canada Summer Games was a good stepping stone and has made the transition from high school to university a bit easier.”

For the team, it may not be the best season so far, but that doesn’t put a damper on Haley, who is learning as much as she can from her new challenges, and is looking to improve her game.

“I have been learning a lot and my goals for the season are to improve my technical game and learn the tactical side of the game.”

The Cougars 0-6 record doesn’t stop Haley from being optimistic when asked about any more awards she has her sights on.

“I do not have my sights set any personal awards. I just want the team to have success this season and to make it to the national championship in Brandon.”

Staying optimistic is important when you are trying to be a positive teammate, like Haley stated as one of her goals for this season, but I am going to go out on a limb and say I don’t think a national championship appearance is in the cards this year. That being said, I really do hope Haley and the Cougars can turn this season around and take a run at a national championship, because any exciting storylines to follow really does make my job easier and much more fun. So, good luck ladies.

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