Making a splash from overseas

- November 13, 2013

Nouwen has been an integral part of a strong Tigers team thus far, leading the AUS in kills and points per set.
Nouwen has been an integral part of a strong Tigers team thus far, leading the AUS in kills and points per set.

Desiree Nouwen, one of the women’s volleyball’s newest starters, has been racking up points for the Tigers since hitting the court.

The European transplant hails from Weert, a small city in the southeastern region of the Netherlands. She brings with her over 20 years of experience, eight of which she played semi-pro for VC Weert, in her hometown.

“It’s my first year at Dal and in Canada,” says Nouwen. “I wanted to go play abroad and continue studying.”

Nouwen was enticed to check out Dal when one of her old VC Weert teammates suggested she look into studying in Canada. Her Vancouverite teammate knew Dal’s trainer and was super positive about both the university and Halifax.

She also has relatives around the country that echoed the same sentiments as her teammate. “I love it so far,” says Nouwen, an arts major that has to start her degree from scratch since certain credits couldn’t be transferred between Dal and her previous university.

Nouwen, an older student than most who enter their first year, is choosing to stay focused on her studies and sport. She’s chosen to avoid residence life, saying she’s already been through that phase, instead opting to live with a family her head coach, Rick Scott, suggested.

“Right now, it’s all about my studies and volleyball,” she says.

And so far, her Dal experience hasn’t been too much different than her years spent playing semi-pro. The amount of practicing and the structure of the program are similar to VC Weert, she says. The only obvious difference is the overall caliber of competition which is higher in Netherlands since the team is playing full-time, she says. Nouwen says the goal for this year is to win the AUS, which is possible she says since, “we have a really talented team”.

Nouwen is not only leading the team in overall stats but also the entire AUS. So far this season she has racked up 33 kills and 32 digs.

Nouwen says she would like to stay and play for Dal for the next four years while finishing her degree but the costs of being an international student make it dependent on her financial situation.

When the volleyball season is over, Nouwen plans to travel around the country with one of her friends, hoping to see Newfoundland and PEI and the major cities on the west coast. But right now, Nouwen is preparing for the “icy-freezing” winter months and will be stocking up on cold weather items.

“I’m going to have to buy some warm clothes, that’s for sure,” she says. 


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