New-look Blues confident heading into 2017-18

New-look Blues confident heading into 2017-18

On the heels of medaling at the PACWEST Championships for the fourth straight season, the Capilano University women’s volleyball team enters their 2017-18 season with an updated look. With the departure of four fifth-years, the arrival of six rookies, and the return of six veterans, the Blues will no-doubt hit the court with a new presence about them, but they remain confident that their roster will still add up to success.

After a 17-7 regular season record and a bronze medal at provincials, the Blues underwent significant change in the offseason. Capilano lost four starters to graduation (Kira Sutcliffe, Sarah Hughes, Kolby Richter, and Kelsi Boroevich) and two to transfers to U SPORTS schools (Danae Shephard and Keely Bell), but also saw the return of a core group who are more than ready to fill those vacant roles and mentor a new group of talented recruits.

Tyneille Neufeld - a PACWEST Second Team All-Star last year, will again be a key part of the Blues.

Leading Capilano in her second year with the program will be outside hitter Tyneille Neufeld. In her first season with the Blues, Neufeld was named Team MVP and a PACWEST Second Team All-Star after a season where she finished on the conference leaderboard in several categories, and posted the seventh-best hitting percentage in the CCAA at 0.423 per cent. As one of just three Blues with at least three years of college volleyball experience, Neufeld is likely to see an expanded role in all facets of her game.

The other two third-years are middles Zoe Mydansky and Meghan Koven, who will take over the position previously held down by Richter and Shepard. Koven was named to the PACWEST All-Rookie Team back in 2015-16, and has shown the ability to play nearly every position on the court – averaging 1.89 kills per set as an outside hitter in her rookie year, and then recording 151 total digs last season playing primarily as a libero. For Mydansky, she has tallied 67 kills, 77 digs, 13 blocks, and seven aces over her two years played so far, and will undoubtedly build on those totals in 2017-18.

A familiar face will also be back with Capilano this season. Isabela Lima was a member of the Blues back in 2015, but suffered an illness and was forced to miss the majority of the season. Now fully back and ready to go, Lima is in the Early Childhood Care and Education Program at CapU and will be a prominent player at the outside hitter position.Rounding out the returners are Anika Kolybaba, Tracy Ewashkiw, and Trina Ewashkiw. Kolybaba made an immediate impact last season and was named to the PACWEST All-Rookie Team, and will again be a force at the right side position. The Ewashkiw twins will also see time as starters, with Trina taking over the setting duties and Tracy seeing time at libero. In 32 sets played last season, Tracy averaged 3.56 digs per frame.

Rounding out the roster is a talented group of rookies coming out of the BC high school ranks who are ready to make an immediate impact: middle Alex Neenan (Penticton Secondary); setter Zoe Dendes (Dover Bay – Nanaimo); outside hitter Emma Schill (Earl Marriott – Surrey); outside hitter Sarah Curleigh (Handsworth – North Vancouver); right side Mackenzy Sparks-Guest (Gleneagle – Coquitlam); and middle Teodora Cikojevic (Burnaby Central).

Capilano kicks off their season against Douglas College, the team they battled neck-and-neck with throughout all last season. Their opening weekend of play comes at home in North Vancouver, with the games going at 6:00pm on Friday, October 13, 2017 and 5:00pm on Saturday, October 15.