Spotlight on men’s volleyball’s Matt Santema
By Davie Wong, Sports Reporter
The Player of the Month for the November is Matt Santema! In the first half of the volleyball season Matt has been essential to his team’s success. At the end of week 6 of PACWEST action, Matt is ranked 6th in average blocks per set, 12th in average kills per set, and 11th in average total offensive stats per set. On the team, Santema leads the team in numbers in offensive stats in 3 out of 4 categories.
This year is Santema’s third year of play for the Royals. He dominates the game from his position of outside hitter. However, his career in volleyball was not always apparent. Much like his teammates, Matt started playing a little after he got into high school.
At the time, he played a variety of other sports, including soccer, lacrosse, and basketball, all at a competitive level. When he began playing, he immediately started his career strongly. After his first year of competitive play, he was invited to a provincial level camp, eventually making the provincial team the following years. His decision to make the complete transition to volleyball was aided by the welcoming community of players and coaches, but Matt credits the start of his career to his mom.
He fondly recalls the first time he was invited to a training camp with high level players. Originally, he was hesitant and reluctant to go to the camp but his mom would have none of that. She made sure that he attended, much to his disdain at the time. By the time he came home, he was in love with the game and it was all he could talk about.
Santema’s work ethic has also been a huge part of the role he plays on the team. Co-captain Nick Lightfoot describes Matt as “an intense guy that doesn’t make errors. He racks up the kills on the court and is one of the most emotionally stable players, which is huge as it helps settle the team down when we need it.”
Off the court, Matt is known for his fun yet selfless personality. Co-captain Angus Ireland describes him as “a selfless teammates who brings a funny and fiery attitude to anything he does.” He also contributes to his community by helping coach club volleyball in his free time.
This year, Santema hopes to help the team go to and win Nationals in front of his friends and family. At the moment, he has no plans as to whether he will continue playing after his college career. While he hopes he can continue playing at the same level, he would only pursue it if the opportunity is right.
Outside of the game, Matt is enrolled in the Bachelor of Business Administration program with an emphasis on Accounting.