UNB Saint John Athletics
Home of the Seawolves

Women's volleyballers striving for aggressive approach

Author: Scott Briggs

Posted on Nov 16, 2022

Category: Volleyball , ACAA , Varsity Sports

Colin Chambers isn’t sure where his squad will finish in the standings at the end of the season, but that doesn’t bother him. The head coach of the UNB Saint John women’s volleyball team is more concerned with how committed his players are to an aggressive approach.
“We have to develop the ability to really challenge the defence, right from the serve,” Chambers said. “I think that’s the biggest thing as far as trying to raise your ceiling as an athlete, is to push yourself to not just settle for a safe serve, but to go for one that’s a little more advanced. It’s about taking ownership of every opportunity to score a point and going on the offensive and playing to beat the other team rather than just waiting for the other team to beat themselves. Sometimes that aggressiveness is going to turn into a sloppy mistake here and there, but overall, it’s going to allow you to get to a higher ceiling.”

Knowing an attacking team needs power, Chambers’ charges train under the watchful eye of strength and conditioning coach Luke Couture, a Team Canada badminton player who now runs Zenith Health and Performance Gym. Having the skill to unleash a stinging spike or a lethal serve is one thing. Having the stamina to execute those skills, game after game during a lengthy season, is another. Regardless, this year’s squad apparently has put in the work.
“This group has impressed me more than we've seen before,” said Chambers, now in his third year at the helm. “There’s been total dedication in the gym from our athletes. Hopefully we can peak at the right time and put everything together to have a good showing in the playoffs.
“Our goal this year is to redefine our limits and see how talented we can be rather than just settling for where we are. I think we all realize that the effort we’re putting in is going to pay off down the road. There’s an eye on the bigger picture rather than the suffering we’re going through in the moment.”
Chambers, a former right-side hitter with the UNB Saint John men’s side, knows that bigger-picture mindset comes from strong leadership. And that starts with captain Mattye Robson, a mature middle player from Calgary, Alberta.
The roster, which features players from five provinces, also includes Emily Robichaud, Haley Wilson, Jane Campbell, Emmily Egers, Dominique Gendron, Amy Carey, Patricia Breau, Jenna Cyr, Sydney Flower, Jessilyne Roy, Sophia Saad and Paige Hobeyn.
“The athletes we’ve brought in were established leaders in high school,” Chambers said. “They’re stepping into roles as younger players on a university team, but they have that confidence to really step up. I think the team culture is better (compared to previous seasons). Players seem to play for each other more. Hopefully we’ve given them an atmosphere where they feel comfortable to become leaders in their own way. We try to encourage players to give feedback to each other and not just look to the coaches for all the guidance.”