Wolves Women's Volleyball
GPRC Announces New Coach for Women's Volleyball
GRANDE PRAIRIE – GPRC Athletics is pleased to announce that Sam Tuivai is assuming the position of Head Coach for GPRC Wolves Women’s Volleyball team.
With 13 years of experience in both playing and coaching volleyball, Tuivai has competed at both a national and international level. His love for the sport began in his hometown of Penrose, New Zealand, which lead him to competing at a national level. Tuivai has competed in the Alberta College Athletics Conference (ACAC) as well as the Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) for 5 collective years. Tuivai is also bringing his experience of playing volleyball professionally in China for two years to his new team at GPRC. Most recently, Tuivai assumed the head coach position for Grande Prairie’s Beach Volleyball club.
“Sam is a welcomed addition to the Wolves coaching staff,” says GPRC Athletics Director François Fournier. “We have no doubt that the passion and experience he brings to the court in both playing and coaching, along with his personality and technical coaching style will provide the support and direction the team needs to achieve its goals this coming season.”
“I’m excited for this opportunity to use my years of experience playing volleyball to lead this team to a successful season,” says Tuivai. “Working together with GPRC, my coaching staff and learning from former successful coaches has instilled confidence in me that this season will be great.”
Wolves Athletics is looking forward to the coaching skills and energy Tuivai will bring to the program.
“GPRC and the team have been very welcoming to me,” says Tuivai. “I’m looking forward to this new role as head coach and getting out on the court and watching our team grow in their skills, academics and community engagement.”
For more information, please contact:
Four New Recruits for Womens Volleyball
The GPRC women’s Wolves volleyball team is pleased to announce the addition of Brynelle Barrs, Meagan Warner, Mckenna Wolstenholme and Lauren Lauzé to the team this upcoming season.
Bryelle Barrs grew up in Woking, Alberta, and competed with numerous local school and club teams including the Wolves volleyball club program for her U17/ U18 seasons. Brynelle is transferring to us from Briecrest College, where she helped the Clippers secure a provincial gold medal at the ACAC championship and went on to receive a fourth place finish at the CCAA National Championship. Entering her second year as an ACAC player, we are excited to have Brynelle bring her experience and knowledge to the middle position.
Meagan Warner joins the Wolves from Prince George, B.C. Playing post secondary volleyball has been a strong passion of Meagan’s for a long time. Growing up she played club volleyball for many years with the PGYVC Kodiaks. Meagan played high school volleyball at College Heights Secondary School where her team won bronze at the BC Senior Girls AAA provincials. “The opportunity to be able to get an education and continue playing volleyball is very exciting for me,” states Meagan. “I am very excited to be joining the Wolves for the 2016/17 season.” The Wolves equally share her excitement; Meagan is a dynamic outside hitter who will bring great diversity to the Wolves offense this season.
Mckenna Wolstenholme, a local Grande Prairie athlete, attended Peace Wapiti Academy for the past 4 years. She helped her high school team win a gold medal at the 3A Provincial championships in 2014. Mckenna was also featured in the GPRC high school All-Star game in her Grade 12 season. A versatile athlete, Mckenna is an extremely hard worker. Having experience in both setting and libero positions, Mckenna will add great depth to the Wolves this coming season!
Lauren Lauzé is a very talented athlete from small town, Falher AB who has been attending École Héritage for the past 12 years. She recently represented Team Alberta North at the Arctic Winter Games in Greenland, where her team placed 2nd. Lauren played for the Wolves club team for 2 years, and has also participated in the GPRC high school All-Star game in both her grade 11 & 12 seasons. Lauren’s athleticism, positive attitude, and upbeat personality will be great contributions to the Wolves this upcoming season!
After a Clean Sweep, Women's Volleyball prepare for Playoffs
February 22, 2016
GPRC Wolves Women's Volleyball travelled to Edmonton to take on the Concordia Thunder for the last regular season games.
With the Thunder unable to keep up the pace, the Wolves defeated them in 3 sets both Friday and Saturday. The Wolves had the opportunity for various players and line ups to compete against the Thunder, allowing all the women to contribute positively to the wins. Emily Groenenboom was awarded player of the game for Friday's match and Janelle Dentinger for Saturday's match.
2nd place in the North, the Wolves now prepare for provincials this weekend where they face the Red Deer Queens who are 3rd place in the South. The first match is Thursday night at 6:00pm against the home town team, Good Luck Wolves!
2nd Place Wolves defeat the Vikings
February 16, 2016
The Wolves Women's Volleyball team hosted the Augustana Vikings for their last home game of the 2015/2016 season. The Wolves strategy was to continue to play hard and put pressure on the opposing team in preparation for playoffs in 2 weeks.
On Friday nights match the women started slow with too many errors, however, they managed to pull through and defeat the Vikings in 3 straight sets. The Augustana women were unable to keep up with the Wolves offensive pace and tough serves, and as a result of her outstanding play, Kaitlyn Cordingley, fifth year graduating player, received player of the game and also recognition for her dedication to the Wolves program for the past six years.
On Saturday, the Wolves continued to play strong and defeated the Vikings in 3 sets again. The Wolves once again played a fast paced game, and strongly established the middles. The Vikings were unable to put up blocks to stop the Wolves. Second year outside player, Emily Groenenboom received player of the game.
The Wolves are travelling to Edmonton this next weekend to take on the Concordia Thunder for the last regular season games before playoffs which are hosted by the Red Deer Queens, February 26 - 28, 2016.
Wolves Sweep the Eagles
February 11, 2016
The Wolves Women's Volleyball team prepared all week to take on the number one ranked team in the North, The Kings University Eagles.
The Wolves came out strong Friday night, defeating the Kings in 4 sets. All sets were extremely close in score, often each team going point for point. The Wolves were able to capitalize on the Eagles with their fast-paced offence and resiliency in the back row. The Wolves were also able to shut down the Eagles in the middle, which was a key part of the game plan. Sydney Toninato was named player of the game.
For Saturday's match, the Women minimized their own errors and had unstoppable energy throughout the match. The Wolves reached their goal and defeated the Kings in 3 sets.The women were able to shut down the Kings strong left side with big blocks and relentless defence. For both matches, the Wolve's middles completely controlled the Kings offence. Middle player, Michelle Gauthier received player of the game on Saturday.
The Wolves are taking on the Augustana Vikings this weekend for their last home games of the year.
Wolves Win Two at Home
January 19, 2016
The Wolves Women's volleyball team hosted the Keyano Huskies for the first home games of the second semester. The women prepared for the matches knowing the Huskies had one strong middle who exploited the Wolves in the first semester of matches.
On Friday night, the Wolves were able to shut down the Huskies with tough serves resulting in the Huskies not being able to set their middle. The Wolves were also able to put up strong blocks shutting down the Huskies offence. Setter, Nicole Clayton ran a quick offence that the Keyano women were unable to keep up with. Nicole was awarded player of the game.
On Saturdays game, the Wolves went in with the same game plan and expecting more competition from the Huskies. Early on in the match, Michelle Gauthier went on a serving run showing Keyano that the Wolves were not going to back down. Wolves hitters also proved themselves, with the Huskies unable to defend the Wolves offence. Outside hitter, Emily Groenenboom received player of the game.
The Wolves are looking to bring this same energy and competitiveness as they travel down to take on the Lakeland Rustlers next weekend.
Women's Volleyball split aginst the Ooks
January 11, 2016
For the first games of the second semester the GPRC Wolves Women's volleyball team travelled down to Edmonton to take on the NAIT Ooks. The Wolves were able to come out on top Friday night, defeating the Ooks in 3 sets. The women were able to shut down the Ooks strong outside hitters with solid blocks and quick defence, with Kaitlyn Cordingley being named player of the game.
With Saturday's game, the Wolves wanted to focus more on their side and come out stronger against the Ooks. However, the Ooks came together and won in four sets against the Wolves. The wolves showed their resilience by continually pushing back against the Ooks in each set and keeping the sets very close, often competiting point for point. Unfortunately with too many errors on the Wolves side, the women were unable to take the match. Emily Groenenboom received player of the game.
The Wolves look to reset and refocus with their upcoming home game matches against the Keyano Huskies next weekend.
Women's Volleyball finish Semester Second in the North
December 2, 2016
The GPRC Wolves Women’s Volleyball team travelled down to Camrose to take on the Augustana Vikings for the last two games of first semester play. The Wolves swept the Vikings, winning in four sets Friday and three sets on Saturday.
The Wolves went into the weekend knowing Augustana was a lower ranked team but were aware they could not underestimate them. On the Friday night’s match the Wolves started strong but maybe got a little over confident. The women had some big moments with hard hits, blocks and digs, however their inconsistency throughout the sets was proving to be a challenge. They took the first two sets but dropped the third set to the Vikings, forcing a fourth set to be played. The Wolves managed to battle through and defeat the Vikings in the fourth set. Middle player, Michelle Gauthier was awarded player of the game.
The Wolves women wanted to come out strong Saturday, to leave a mark with the Vikings. The Vikings were a strong serving team, and the Wolves wanted to focus on their serve receive in order to have solid executions with their offense. The Wolves were able to expose the Vikings through the middle as they were unable to defend themselves effectively. The Wolves also showed great discipline defensively as they were able to pick up many of the Viking’s shots. Right side, Danika Kettles received player of the game, as the Vikings were unable to shut down her hard attacks allowing her many opportunities to score.
With the first semester complete, the Wolves finished second in the North Division with 8 wins and 4 losses. Second semester league play for the Wolves Women’s Volleyball team starts January 8th and 9th against the NAIT Ooks.
Wolves Sign Import
April 29th, 2014
Grande Prairie, Alberta- Grande Prairie Regional College and their Women’s Volleyball Program are pleased to announce the signing of New Zealand native Zoe Cronin. Zoe has an extensive background in indoor and beach volleyball where she has represented New Zealand internationally on the beach. Zoe is an excellent defensive player with the ability to play left side.
“GPRC I believe provides a place for me to challenge explore and grow as an athlete and student. The Wolves Volleyball team have a very successful volleyball history and I feel honored to have the opportunity to become a part of such a talented team. The Wolves are hardworking, high achievers who I know will help guide and develop my ability and volleyball play to the next level. I love that the team and school provides many opportunities to give back to the community and abroad positively. Can't wait to arrive in September 2014”.-stated Cronin.
Coach Slauenwhite commented, “I’m excited to have signed an athlete such as Zoe Cronin. Zoe is very impressive as a student-athlete coming out of high school. Her work ethic on the court is exemplified by her dedication as a student in the classroom and hard worker in the gym. I was very impressed with her video, our discussions and her overall maturity as a young athlete. I’m looking forward to having the opportunity to work with her”.
Loedel Returns To Wolves
April 29th, 2014
Grande Prairie, Alberta- Grande Prairie Regional College and their Women’s Volleyball Program are pleased to announce the return of Sarah Loedel from Prince George, British Columbia. Sarah is a 6’1” middle blocker who has the ability to play as an outside hitter.
Coach Slauenwhite commented- “We are excited to have Sarah returning to the Wolves family for the 2014-15 season. Sarah played a significant role with the team a few years ago, which will help her make an immediate impact on her return. Sarah has been coaching over the past two years, which I feel will help her see the game in a different manner.”
"I am so incredibly excited to return to the Wolves next season. I was heartbroken when I had to make the difficult decision in my second year to leave due to health issues. I didn't think it would have taken me this long (to return) when I first left, but I’m extremely happy that I will be returning. The Wolves family here at GPRC was so supportive of me when I left and through my journey of getting healthy. I didn't want my return to volleyball to be anywhere else.” - Stated Loedel.
Clayton Commits to GPRC
April 29th, 2014
Grande Prairie, Alberta- Grande Prairie Regional College and their Wolves Women’s volleyball program are happy to announce the signing of 5’9” St. Albert native Nicole Clayton. Clayton helped lead her NAVC Club team to a Volleyball Alberta 17U bronze medal in 2013, and this past fall, led her St. Albert Catholic High School team to an Alberta Schools’ Athletic Association 3A silver medal.
“Nicole is an athlete that I have known since the 2012 Alberta Winter Games held in Spruce Grove. I quickly noticed her athleticism and on-court leadership while playing at the games. I’m looking forward to adding an athlete such as Nicole to our roster for the 2014-15 season.”-Slauenwhite
Clayton added-“GPRC has been at the top of my list of colleges that I have wanted to play for. They have always had a strong volleyball program, and players with great work ethic. I am really excited to join the team this upcoming year. GPRC has a great athletic program along with academics. I am really looking forward to being on a team with great athletes. I’m really looking forward to the 2014-15 season.”-Nicole Clayton
Wolves Add Groenenboom
April 29th, 2014
Grande Prairie, Alberta- Grande Prairie Regional College and their Women’s Volleyball Program are pleased to announce the signing of Emily Groenenboom. Emily is a 5’9” native of St. Albert, Alberta and is graduating from St. Albert Catholic High School. This past November, her team won a silver medal at the Alberta Schools’ Athletic Association provincial championships. Emily has grown up playing club volleyball for the NAVC Pandas out of Edmonton, where she captured a Volleyball Alberta provincial bronze medal in April of 2013.
“Volleyball has been a passion of mine for a long time. I have played club volleyball for a number of years and high school volleyball at St. Albert Catholic High School where we won silver at 3A provincials this past year. The opportunity to go to get a college education and get to play volleyball was an exciting prospect for me. I received an invitation to come see Grande Prairie Regional College and ultimately selected it as the college I will attend in the fall of 2014. I had a few different schools to choose from but felt that GPRC had the right educational programs that I was looking at taking along with a volleyball program that has a great reputation. When I met the current team it had a great atmosphere that I feel would help me to develop as a player and person. I am excited to be coming up to GPRC to start my college career”.
“I’m very excited to have signed an athlete such as Emily. She is a very dynamic outside hitter with a heavy arm. Emily will challenge for playing time in her first year through her hard work and dedication to the sport. I really liked how she interacted with her team and coaches any time that I have been able to watch her compete. We are all excited to have Emily join our team and program. Stated John Slauenwhite
Great Cuban Experience for the Wolves
GPRC Wolves Women’s Volleyball team travelled to Havana, Cuba over the Christmas break and had the opportunity to meet and train with Cuban athletes.
The Wolves competed against a team that contained 5 Junior National Cuban team members, each day
learning more about the game. The Cuban team was a group of girls that were chosen to compete against the Wolves bringing a mix of different ages and levels. According to Jordan Drezet “I was paired up with a 16 year old girl who was outstanding, they [the Cuban players] pushed us to get better”. The Wolves ended up playing 4 matches winning two and losing two.
As far as technical play, the women learned a great deal about the game. Amy Norman goes on to say that “they [the Cuban players] may play the same technically, but their enthusiasm was amazing”. Tonya Dueck adds that “their [the Cuban players] communication was much different than ours and would use a simple sound, it would be like us calling for the ball”. Jordan Drezet tells an amusing story that “when we were playing pepper with our partners in warm-up, they would mock us when we were saying “mine” because they thought we sounded like birds”.
The tour was a cultural exchange where the team stayed in a hotel and experienced many areas of the city, notably having the opportunity to experience the Cuban lifestyle and discover some of their traditions. Coach John Slauenwhite adds that “we had the opportunity to visit the Havana Harbour, Old Havana, visit a fortress built in the 1500’s and experience some authentic Cuban salsa dancing”.
The team also visited a local orphanage, played games, spent time with the children and gave gifts from Canada. Amy Norman says that “the experience was very humbling and made me appreciate Canada a lot more. Spending time with the orphans and being able to give to less fortunate children felt great”.
The women got to know their Cuban opponents quite well and after the competition ended and on the last day of training, they exchanged gifts. Aidan Lutzman notes that “we gave them our old shoes, t-shirts, knee pads, and so on and in exchange we received things that they might have gotten from the market or a gift that meant something to them”. Drezet adds that the experience “made you want to give more and more to them because you can see that many of the players didn’t have shoes in great condition. It makes you really appreciate everything we have access to and are able to buy if we need”.
Coach Slauenwhite concludes that “the trip was a great way for the team to experience another culture as well as build on team bonding. The girls have come back refreshed, determined and very excited to start the second half of our season as we host the ACAC conference championships here in Grande Prairie”.
For More information on Wolves Women's Volleyball contact:
Jaryn Ruether, Head Coach