Strength in numbers

Photo of Nick Hansen Via Douglas College Student Services on Flickr

Photo of Nick Hansen Via Douglas College Student Services on Flickr

Royals MVB add serious talent to roster

By Davie Wong, Sports Editor

 

Jay Tremonti, head coach of the Douglas College Royals men’s volleyball, has done an excellent job of bringing fresh faces and talent into the program. Going into his second year at the helm of the program, Tremonti will be leading a young and hungry squad, nearly all of whom he has picked up for the program.

This year recruiting class has been particularly exceptional, with the capture of several key players. Let’s take a look at the batch.

Bobby Blaskovits
6’3″ Setter
Mount Boucherie Senior Secondary (West Kelowna, BC)
Kelowna Volleyball Club

 

Bobby Blaskovits is a promising young setting talent with the physique of a champion, and the pedigree to chase it. Former captain, MVP, and Team BC are just some of the accomplishments Blaskovits has to his name.

Bobby will like be playing backup to the Royals current setter, Jared Collins. However, depending on how he adjusts to PACWEST level of play, we could see him splitting minutes, or even taking the starting position for his own this season, but that may be looking a little too far down.

Dan Baird
6’7″ Middle Blocker
Earl Marriott Secondary (Surrey, BC)

 

Standing in at a massive 6’7″, Dan Baird is a looming triple threat. He can hit, pass, and block; all of which Jay Tremonti loves in his blockers.

However, he lacks some key experience that the rest of his teammates have, which makes him a wildcard. While his size gives him an advantage, experience is king on the court. I expect him to be a depth player, or even a red shirt, but he could surprise everyone and push for a rotational role.

John Colobong
5’9″ Utility
Burnaby South Secondary (Burnaby, BC)
Fraser Valley Volleyball Club

 

Here’s an interesting addition—a utility player! But not just any utility player, Colobong has experience playing at a high level in every position. That’s something that not a lot of players can say they have. He just recently won bronze with Team BC’s U18 team at the Canada Summer Games.

As a utility player, Colobong should be seeing quite a bit of floor time this year. His flexibility makes him a likely candidate for the go to sub. Expect him to be splitting minutes every game.

 

Nick Hansen

5’11” Libero

College Heights Secondary School (Prince George, BC)

Prince George Youth Volleyball Club

 

While the Royals were stacked with offensive talent last year, they lacked a defensive specialist. Nick Hansen is exactly that. After helping his high school team finish second in the BC AA Boys Volleyball bracket, Hansen will be heading to the Royals. A two time BC High School AA Boys Top Libero Award winner, Hansen knows how to play defensive volleyball.

As the Royals lacked a go to libero last year, Hansen will likely slot right into the starting line-up. As someone of exceptional skill, it’s unlikely that he will struggle adapting to PACWEST level volleyball. I would expect to see him playing massive minutes this year, if not splitting series with another libero.

 

Reid Marriot

6’3” Outside Hitter

Langley Christian School (Langley, BC)

Fraser Valley Volleyball Club

 

Easily the most exciting signing for the Royals is Reid Marriott. A top 10 BC Volleyball prospect, Marriott could easily be the new face of the program. The spunky 6’3” outside hitter is the complete package. Confident, strong, and smart, Marriott is good, and he knows it. The concern could be in reining in that personality and focusing it towards the court. Having played under Jay Tremonti with Team BC, Marriott will be already accustomed to working with the Royals’ head coach. Tremonti will also have a good idea of how Marriott plays and needs to be supported. Play it right, and Marriott could be a player you build a team around. I have no doubts this kid is going to roll the PACWEST.

In terms of play time, Marriott should be ready to step into the vacant outside hitter spot left by Devon Dunn. The load there is quite heavy, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see head coach Jay Tremonti put Marriott as the secondary hitter until he fully adapts to the PACWEST. If he struggles off the start, he could end up splitting time with one of the other Royals hitters, filling a role similar to that of Royals veteran Johnson Yi. Regardless, expect to see quite a bit of Reid Marriott this year.

 

Keaton Mann

6’4” Right Side Hitter

Delta Secondary School (Delta, BC)

Seaside Volleyball Club

 

Keaton Mann is a project player—one with a high skill ceiling though a bit of a journey to get there. Gifted with height and athleticism, Mann has the ability to succeed, but it’ll be up to him to use it. His growth under Jay Tremonti is assured—it’s just how much he’ll grow as a player that’s the question.

That being said, Mann is not projected to get too much floor time this year. He will likely be a depth player, or even a red shirt as he learns and improves with the team.

 

Greg Moore

6’6” Right Side Hitter

Burnsview Secondary School (Delta, BC)

Seaside Volleyball Club

 

Moore comes to the roles after committing to collegiate volleyball. Originally a multisport athlete specializing in volleyball and soccer, Moore will now be fully committing to volleyball. If Mike Howeren is any indicati0n how the transition should work, Moore will be more than fine.

Playing at right side hitter, Moore will likely be a depth player for the season, though it wouldn’t surprise me to see him in a red shirt either.

 

Ben Shand

6’4” Left Side Hitter

College Heights Secondary School (Prince George, BC)

Prince George Youth Volleyball Club

 

Topping off the list is talented left side hitter Ben Shand. He was the captain of his club team, as well as his high school team, who he led to a AA Silver medal at the Provincial Championship. He was also named a provincial All-Star, making him one of the better recruits coming out of AA Boys Volleyball.

Shand’s position as the dominant hitter will likely have to change or adapt. While Shand will probably see floor time this year, it will likely be in a backup role.

 

Overall, this year’s recruiting class is quite promising. Jay has shown his favour for offensive prowess once again, bringing in a plethora of hitters to fill his ranks, as well as triple threat middles, though he has supplemented his back court well with the addition of Nick Hansen. With all this young talent, it feels like Jay has the future in mind. However, with the parts of the roster from last year still intact, the Royals could find themselves contending much sooner that one would think.

 

The Other Press

The Other Press, Douglas College's student newspaper since 1976. Articles, insight and updates from the New West and Coquitlam campuses.

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