A Chestermere athlete is preparing to play volleyball for the Olds College Broncos for the 2020-2021 season.
Sarah Merkosky has played volleyball for seven years, including on her high school team, and with the Calgary U18 Cougars Volleyball Club.
“My friend and I decided that we wanted to try it out. Our moms pushed us to start playing, my mom played when she was in high school,” Merkosky said.
Adding, “She wanted me to try something new, and it just clicked when I started playing.”
For Merkosky, the recruiting process was long due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Merkosky was in contact with the Volleyball Broncos Head Coach since January and had been discussing where she would fit best on the team, and what her role would be.
“It was a long process. It took a while for everything to come together because of COVID-19. It was really stressful,” Merkosky said.
Despite the stress of the recruiting process, Merkosky was very excited when she found out she would continue playing volleyball.
“It was really hard for me to wait so long, it was very nice to hear that I would actually be playing finally,” she said.
For Merkosky to get to this point, she has had to continue developing her skill set year after year.
“You have to change your skill set every single year. Every year you move up it’s a new level of intensity within the team,” Merkosky said.
“I really had to work on my skill set on my team, working my hardest in practice to see court time, pushing myself to be one of the best teammates that I could be, and proving to my coaches and teammates that I deserve to be playing every game that we had. It was a big part of where I am today,” she said.
Although Merkosky has had to overcome challenges to get to this point in her volleyball career, creating lifelong friendships with past teammates has made the difficult times worth it.
“I’ve made amazing friendships with all of my past teammates whether it’s with my school team or my club team,” Merkosky said.
“They definitely help you get through the tough times, when you’re having a bad game, your teammates are always there for you, and it’s amazing to have those connections with people,” she said.
In the past, Merkosky would train three times a week with one-hour strength training, and two-hour on-court training sessions.
Merkosky is now preparing to practice four days a week, with strength training sessions, on court practices, and nutritional classroom sessions.
“There is definitely going to be a lot more people working with us,” Merkosky said.
Going forward, Merkosky’s ultimate goal is to continue growing as an athlete, continue developing her skills, and become a stronger player.
“We have a longer preseason, there is going to be a lot of time for me to get ready for the college level playing, and the intensity that comes with playing college volleyball,” she said.
Without the support of Merkosky’s coaches, she wouldn’t be where she is today.
“I just want to thank all of my coaches over the years who pushed me and supported me through my journey to where I am today,” she said.