CLARENVILLE, N.L. — Moving up an age group, the Eastern Impact club volleyball team is looking to make an impact at volleyball nationals this week in Edmonton.
The team, which competed last year in Waterloo, added some players from outside the region, including the returning Ryan Littlejohn and newcomers from St. John’s and Corner Brook as well. They finished 19th out of 42 in their category in the Waterloo tournament.
The team’s head coach Jakob Walsh says this is his second time attending an event like this coach, on top of four as a player.
He told The Packet they’ve been working hard and getting good results in the lead up to the tournament.
“I believe we can probably finish in the top 15 this year,” Walsh predicts. “We have a stronger group, a bigger group, and I think that’s going to benefit us when we go away.”
The Impact has a good chemistry, he adds, noting they’ve gelled well in their time together.
“The experience of the other players is going to benefit the (two) first time players … If they continue to work together as a team, that’s going to benefit them,” he said.
Team captain Cole Mackey told The Packet he’s excited for his third tournament of this type.
He’s looking forward to having the few new players with them when they play and improving as a result.
“When we get up there, have a practice, we’ll all get used to it,” Mackey said. “We’ll always help each other.”
Mackey knows the competition will be stiff, but also says they’re one of the top teams in Atlantic Canada and they just need to play their game and take it from there.
“We’re hoping to get a medal, it doesn’t matter what division or tier,” he said.
Team manager Ian Mackey also thanked the sponsors in the business community for contributing to their trip. He says it’s a huge financial undertaking that wouldn’t be possible without this type of support.