With many thanks to 403 Selects Volleyball Club, several Canadian and US scholarship opportunities came to the table in my grade 12 year.

It was quite a process to sort through the scholarship packages and options available. I chose to go to St. Mary’s University in Halifax, NS because it seemed the best fit – to be able to continue to play volleyball and begin post-secondary education.

I was very fortunate that Darren Russel, head coach of the Huskies, put me in the lineup and on the court immediately. It was quite an adjustment from club ball – being only 17 years old, a starting middle, playing with fourth and fifth year players. I learned a lot and how to ‘step it up’ in a short amount of time.

I spent an awesome 2 years playing for the St. Mary’s University Huskies (2012 – 2014). I was fortunate to visit many cities in eastern Canada (Montreal, Ottawa, St. Johns, Moncton, Toronto) that I probably would not have travelled to had it not been for volleyball.

I also made some great friends and a bunch of memories. When I left SMU I was ranked fourth in the AUS League out of the top 50 players.

In May of 2013, Coach Russel sent me to the Canadian Women’s National Team Tryout Camp in Winnipeg. That was an eye opener as to the level of play at that caliber of ball. It was a great experience and very hard work. I did learn a lot at that tryout that I took back to the court the following season.

In September of 2014, I transferred to the University of Saskatchewan pursuing an Agriculture Science Degree and continue towards my long term goal of veterinary medicine. I still had love for the game so I contacted the Huskies Coach and was placed on the roster as a red shirt for the 2014 -2015 season due to CIS transfer rules.

To red shirt for a whole year was a humbling experience, but I treated it as an opportunity to learn court play from a different perspective, and reinforced the importance of supporting/encouraging my teammates regardless of the situation. This also provided the opportunity to really work on improving my individual skills.

As of September 2015, I am back on the volleyball court playing ball! I am a starting middle, have a great bunch of teammates, and enjoy the extremely competitive level of play the Canada West Conference has to offer. We are working hard to finish in the top 7 to make it into the Canada West playoffs.

Ending for Christmas Break we are 5th place – first time since 1998 for this team, so we are quite excited.

Other achievements:

  • 2013 CIS Rookie All-Star Team, Canadian Interuniversity Sport
  • 2013 AUS Rookie All-Star Team
  • 2013 AUS Rookie of the Year
  • SMU’s Faculty of Sciences Dean’s List
  • 2012-13, 2013-14 CIS Academic All Canadian (Awarded to student athletes who maintain GPA of 3.67+
  • 2014 University of Saskatchewan Entrance Scholarship
  • 2015 U of A Pre-season Under 21 Tournament (Sept) – MVP

Couple of funnies:
There is definitely a connection to the #11 uniform number, as I have had the good fortune of being able to wear that number since grade 7! Also seems I am attached to the name Huskies (St. Mary’s & U of S)!

“Volleyball has provided me with many opportunities, memories, life experiences and lifelong friends.”

403 Selects wish Josie all the best as she continues to play the game we all love!

Photo courtesy: www.huskies.usask.ca