About Volleyball Canada

September 19, 2012

Women's Indoor National Team Member Lands in Germany

Beautiful Berlin

This adventure started like any other for me...with a delayed flight.  Fortunately not much could dampen my spirits since I was finally heading to my first job as a professional volleyball player. While waiting to board the plane i couldn't help but think about how fortunate I was to be heading to such a beautiful country to play the sport I was born to play.  These happy thoughts were soon followed by the first shock of nervousness about arriving in my new home. But not to worry as once bored I found myself surrounded by every family on the plane with a child under 3, no serious thinking could take place while in the midst of four screaming infants. After an 8 hour flight that felt more like 18, I traipsed through the passport control without so much as a single question and after some serious confusion I found J and Janie waiting to welcome me to Germany.

As I seemed to have completely skipped Tuesday we headed for a very German breakfast including plenty of cheese and meat then for stroll through a local park..  Then finally after much anticipation I was welcomed by the team manager and officially made part of the team. Now settling into my new apartment I am attempting to adjust to the German way of life as quickly as possible unfortunately the jet-lag is catching up to me.

So far I only have great things to say about the people of Berlin and the team members I have met including my sweet, Brazilian roommate who the girls call Barbie. While the apartment is the perfect size for two middle blockers I was initially concerned when I first walked into the kitchen. I felt as though I had entered a smurf house, everything from the table to the counters to the fridge are all miniature. Needless to say I'll be missing the raised counter tops at home.
More adventures await me tomorrow in my first practice with the team. Hopefully all goes well since we leave Friday for the Czech Republic to play a tournament.  No rest for this girl, but I can't wait for the adventures to begin!

September 12, 2012

A Word From Former National Team Athlete, Tonya Mokelki

Recently, following the 2012 Women's NORCECA Olympic Qualification Tournament for London 2012, senior women's national team member, Tonya Mokelki retired from Team Canada.  Here are her thoughts after a few months of life without volleyball. 

You know how that saying goes "You don't know what you had until it's gone", well this I think is what retiring from Team Canada has been like. While you're there in the mix of things that's all you know, it's your life, your identity. You even kind of come to take it for granted because it's so "normal" for you. At first retiring just felt like I was on one of our regular breaks. When try-outs were starting it definitely felt weird knowing I wasn't there but when it really hit home was when the team was away competing. I don't regret my decison of retiring, I think it was the right time for me to do it, but i definitely miss the training, the entire staff, and of course my team mates. The girls were basically my closest friends for 6 years of my life. They were always there, a constant support system.   
      Those of you that know me well know that I am a very competitve person, so of course I had to find something else to do. I decided to start playing roller derby. I am practicing with a team in Weyburn and learning how to roller skate. Let me tell you after being in court shoes for 15 years, this is a completely different experience. It is nice though starting at ground zero again with something and challenging myself to get better and attempt to excel at a different sport. I was NSOing a game just this past weekend and like most sporting events, they played O'Canada. I thought I was about to cry! That was the first time I had been in a gym with the national anthem playing, and I was not in a Team Canada uniform.
      Playing for Team Canada was amazing and I feel so priviledged to have had the opportunity to represent my country. It truely is an honor like no other. It's kind of funny, I am currently working at a bank right now and one of my co-workers the other day stopped me and said "I didn't know all that stuff about you, you're basically the most famous person I know!" It's funny how other people's comments make you put things in perspective and appreciate even more what you had. I could go on forever talking about everything that Team Canda has done for me and how much I loved it but I think it's those little things that mean the most. The crying over the national anthym, the little heartfelt comments, and of course the competitve drive that all of us athletes will carry with us the rest of our lives. 


January 30, 2012

Women's National Team Athlete Blog: Liz Cordonier

Ahh back in Europe once again, where I unwillingly receive my dose of Top 40 music that will last me through the rest of the year. This time I’m in a small town in Finland where I live in my parka and Ugg boots when I’m not on the volleyball court. Believe or not, it’s still warmer than Winnipeg.

When our Olympic qualifier was rescheduled until the end of April, most of us were left scrambling to find a team to train and play with for the winter months. It’s never ideal joining up with a squad halfway through their season. Often, any team looking to hire a player at that point in the year is struggling with injuries or trying to stay afloat in their league. I was fortunate to join up with LP Viesti, a team that hasn’t lost in the Finnish league in the past 105 matches. As the strongest club team in their country they participate in the CEV Challenge Cup, meaning they play a series of matches against top ranked teams from other leagues around Europe. As a result they were looking for another leftside to help them out in their upcoming matches against Smart Allianz Stuttgart. I arrived on a Thursday, had my first practice on Friday and was thrown into my first match the following Wednesday. We played a gritty match at home and came out with the win in five sets. It was so much fun to play a high intensity game against a great team and I felt at home with the girls from LP Viesti right away. We ended up losing the series against Stuttgart but since have continued on with regular league play and just this past weekend came out on top at the Baltic Cup tournament.

This weekend was also my initiation which was a throwback to my rookie year as a UBC Thunderbird. I was forced to recite an oath (in Suomi) on my knees in the shower room while knocking back a glass of vile tasting Salmiaki (salty liquorice liqueur). It wasn’t until after when the pledge was translated that I discovered I had agreed to a karaoke competition with my club manager (among other things). And finally, a raw egg was cracked over my head (not gently either), to complete the ceremony. Needless to say this team has its character and its own traditions. And so far it’s been a lot of fun…

January 4, 2012

Women's National Team Athlete Blog: Marisa Field

Marisa Field is currently playing her third season of professional volleyball in Sinsheim, Germany. This will help her prepare for the Olympic Qualifier which is taking placing April 27-May 6 in Tijuana, Mexico. This blog was written right before Christmas.

Hey Canada!

So it’s been almost exactly a year since my last blog, and I’m back reporting from the same place as last time! Well, technically I’m in a hotel in Berlin right now gearing up for a 5 day extended trip up north to play 2 games in 3 days, first in Berlin and then in Hamburg. I came back to rejoin my professional team in Sinsheim, Germany again this season right after finishing up at the NORCECA Championships in Puerto Rico with Team Canada in September.

But before that I spent my fifth summer training in Winnipeg with Team Canada – eating, sleeping, and living volleyball… and of course enjoying some good times with the girls and even attending a teammate’s wedding, as well as traveling and competing against some of the top teams in the world. Unfortunately, I started the TC season this summer coming off some ankle injuries I sustained in January playing in Sinsheim and was unable to train at a hundred percent and missed the friendly competition against Argentina in June and our first official tournament – Pan Am Cup in Mexico. So my first games wearing the red and white this summer were during our exhibition tourney against the Netherlands for our Ontario tour in August. It felt great to finally put the jersey back on after 3 months of training/only being able to cheer from the bench in the team tracksuit. After our prep with Team Holland we enjoyed a week break and then it was back to training for the NORCECA Championships. At the end of that trip I had to say goodbye to my teammates and get ready to head across the pond for my first solo stint playing pro….

So I thought I was being “brave” this season by venturing out to Europe without a Canadian partner in crime for the first time... that is, right back to the same team as last year… in a town that you can pretty much get around in by walking everywhere… and where I have a German “family” that takes care of me, and that I am pretty much set up nicely in… but anyways…… Turns out that after 2 months of being here alone I was destined to continue my trend of playing in Europe with a Canadian teammate! Sweet deal for me, enter Tammy Mahon.

Well after two slightly rough months for the team – due to literally half the team being out with either injuries or illness, myself included (again with the ankles) – some new life was added to the team; first with the arrival of a new Spanish libero and then the arrival of Tammy shortly after. Now things are looking up and I’m back to rooming with my buddy on road trips J Only a week left here until we both get to fly home for Christmas and see our family and friends… can’t even wait!!

So that pretty much covers things since I left Germany at the end of last season! Looking forward to getting back to Canada for the holidays and eating a whollle lot of turkey and cookies!! I mean… salad and whole grain breads… and water.. without bubbles.

Merry Christmas to all and a very Happy New Year!!!

Tschüssiiieeee!! (That one’s for Lupo ;) )


December 2, 2011

Women's National Team Athlete Blog - Marie-Pier Murray-Methot

Marie-Pier Murray-Methot is currently in Switzerland playing professional volleyball for the first time. She was on the Senior A Women's roster for the first time this season and was on the B National team in 2009 & 2010. Follow her blog here: http://mpmmvolleyballvoyage.blogspot.com/ as she lives and plays in Switzerland!

November 14, 2011

Women's National Team Athlete Blog - Nadine Alphonse

Nadine Alphonse has been playing for Team Canada since 2006. She is currently playing professionally for the first time in Switzerland.

Please visit her personal blog here:

October 13, 2011

Louis-Pierre Mainville blogging from the Pan Am Games preparation week

Post taken from the FTC at Pan Am Games blog. View full blog at http://teamcanadaftc.blogspot.com/

The first practice of a trip is always the hardest one. You haven’t slept for almost 2 days, you have been sitting in a plane or a bus for a total of 16 hours. When you are not sitting in a plane or a bus, you are sitting in an airport or walking around trying to find something good and cheap to eat. There isn’t anything good so you get a 15$ sandwich with fries. You get to your room and you can’t sleep because you practice soon and you need to be able to sleep at night. You’re all dehydrated from not drinking enough water during the trip and your feet are swollen. All you want is to shower but you need to put on your black practice shirt and head over to the gym. It is 30 degrees in there and the humidity level is sky high. Doesn’t matter, you are a pro and you need to practice…sorry, you need to practice well!

This is pretty much the conditions in which the team showed up at the practice gym of the Brazilian national training center early tonight. But you know what, we could have been wearing green and yellow and no one would have known we were just coming off the bus. Ok, the legs were done by the end of the first hitting drill and guys were looking for air in this thick humidity but what matters is not the physical shape during a first practice, it’s the focus and the attitude. 

Practice was set to start at 18h30 and we had a snack prior to that. I sat down to eat my delicious single-slice-of-ham sandwich and worked slowly on a piece of pineapple knowing that I had all the time in the world to get to the gym and get my shows on. I was not even done that all the guys were getting up and starting to walk towards the gym located 115 meters away. I tried to tell them they had time but they didn’t care, they wanted to get to the gym. At 18h25, I had my shoes on and was warming up my shoulder with an elastic band just beside the court. All the guys suddenly gathered around Vince and I waiting for the 1-2-Canada that starts it all. 

“Guys, take your time, you can still play a little bit of short court, we’ve got 5 more minutes” (that was me trying to get more time to warm up my shoulder) They went back to hitting some balls, peppering or passing some balls against the wall…they were just craving some volleyball.

This is the attitude I’m talking about: everyone showing up to practice early and wanting to get on the court. Practice started and everyone was sharp (except for my team at volley-tennis that got destroyed 15-6). The guys all had heavy legs but they went at it as if they were coming back from a couple of days off. I don’t know if it’s the Brazilian spirit of volleyball wandering inside the walls of that gym, something they put in the food or simply the dulce de leche, but this group of young players really impressed me tonight. For most of them, it is their first big trip and they are preparing to play the best team they have ever played but they looked like they had done it all their life.

It’s been just over 4 months since I got surgery on my knee for an ACL repair and I am eager to play some games. My teammates have been practicing twice a day for 4 weeks and they look even hungrier than I am. They inspire me and I am really proud to be part of that group of determined athletes. Keep following us through that trip because some great things are going to happen.

Keep it up boys and see you at breakfast in the morning!