Tigers training in California
Katya Sodamin - January 11, 2013
Varsity student-athletes often trade time with family and friends over the holidays for time in the gym getting ready to play. This past holiday, the CIS No. 6-ranked Tigers women’s volleyball team left home early for their annual training camp, but instead of heading to Halifax, they traveled to the opposite end of the continent for a week in San Diego, California.
Planning the trip
The idea for this trip manifested between Dalhousie head coach Rick Scott and University of British Columbia Okanagan (UBCO) head coach Steve Manuel. Both coaches wanted to train with an out-of-conference team and give the athletes a great reason to fundraise to make it happen. In only their second year in the CIS, the UBCO Heat has already established themselves as a competitor and are currently ranked ninth overall. “This was an excellent opportunity to train and compete with a very good team,” said Scott. “Whenever you play against tough opposition it makes you better.”
Fundraising to make it possible
It’s not easy or cheap to bring an entire team to California for training and the team was required to generate all the money to fund the trip. Special events including the Women in Leadership Spotlight Dinner, the Scotiabank High School Volleyball Invitational, and Superskills Volleyball Camps as well as alumni contributions made the trip possible. Each team member also contributed $400 for the experience.
Training with UBCO
In California the teams trained at the San Diego Volleyball Club, a four-court complex where they scrimmaged against each other and the 18U San Diego club team. While the training was similar to what the Tigers might accomplish in Halifax, it was unique to compete with a new group of players at a high skill level. Scott said that since the UBCO is not in their conference they were also able to practice a variety of set plays, which will help the Tigers in the run for the playoff race.
Fourth-year outside hitter Raeesa Lalani greatly enjoyed the trip. “UBCO was great to scrimmage against and it definitely helped us improve our game,” she said.
Hard work and a little fun
While in California the team also took in the local culture, took surfing lessons at Pacific Beach and visited the San Diego Zoo. “The trip was a great way to prepare for the second half of our season and a great memory for the student-athletes to add to their university experience,” says Scott.
Currently, the Dalhousie women’s volleyball team leads the AUS with 14 points (seven wins, two losses). This weekend they kick off the second half of their regular season with an away game at Acadia on Saturday at 2 p.m. and on Sunday they host Cape Breton at Dalplex at 1 p.m.