Bridgewater, N.S. native Courtney Baker has been selected to Canada's senior national team program after a five-day tryout in Richmond, B.C. Over 60 athletes from U SPORTS, NCAA and professional leagues attended the tryout which saw Baker rise to the top.
Baker has been playing in the rightside position for the most part with the Tigers the last two seasons, but will spend this summer training as a setter with the team in Richmond.
"Getting back into the setter role is definitely challenging because it is such a different position from rightside," says Baker. "I really enjoy being able to play both positions but I am looking forward to getting some more experience as a setter."
The summer will consist of two-a-day training sessions in preparation for a number of different competitions including the Grand Prix in July, the FISU Games in August and the Norceca Championship in October. Baker will compete with 26 other players to earn the chance to play for Canada.
"My goals for the summer are getting on some travel rosters for competition to apply the training I will be doing throughout the next several months," says Baker. "I don't have any specific competitions in mind, but I would love to get some international experience."
Baker got her first taste of national team experience as a member of Canada's junior team that earned a fourth-place finish at the 2015 US Indoor High Performance Championships.
She spent much of last summer in Winnipeg training with the senior team last summer. The training camp ran from May 7 to June 30 and although Baker did not end up travelling with the team to the 2016 NORCECA Pan-American Cup, she trained alongside an impressive roster for two months of the summer. The overall experience Baker gained and the training she received was a very unique accomplishment.
"I am thrilled for Courtney and extremely proud of her selection to the Canadian National Team," says Tigers head coach Rick Scott. "She is a dynamic athlete that has worked hard to become a great volleyball player. Her selection to this team will allow her further development to become a great setter. She will serve as a role model for young Nova Scotian and Atlantic female volleyball players to strive for their goals and they might be able to play for the National Team someday. This is also great for our Dalhousie University Tigers women's volleyball program and our Atlantic University Sport Conference."
In her first season with the Tigers, Baker was named to both the AUS and U SPORTS all-rookie teams. She recently completed her sophomore season with the Tigers, earning an AUS first team all-star nod after leading the Tigers in multiple categories, including total kills as well as service aces.
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