VIU’s Danielle Groenendijk blasts the ball through the Camosun defence during an exhibition match at Duncan Christian School last week. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)

Danielle Groenendijk makes triumphant return to DCS court

Former Chargers star making transition to VIU

Duncan Christian School grad Danielle Groenendijk returned to her old gym last week and played a huge role as the Vancouver Island University Mariners swept past the Camosun College Chargers in four sets of exhibition volleyball.

“I was really excited to play at DCS again, although it was strange being with a different team and not wearing a DCS Chargers jersey,” Groenendijk said. “I went into the game with an attitude to just have fun, and put on a competitive, well-played volleyball match. I am so thankful for everything DCS did for me while I was there, and also for advertising our game so much. The crowd was full of energy and super supportive.”

Groenendijk played in all four sets as VIU defeated Camosun 25-15, 25-23, 25-18, 25-20. She contributed on offence and defence, and served up several aces with her top-spin jump serve.

A provincial team member and the fourth of four Groenendijk siblings to play post-secondary volleyball, Groenendijk has made a smooth transition from high school to university.

“University has been awesome,” she said. “I have loved being able to start another chapter of my life. Definitely, being on the volleyball team has helped and made it more enjoyable. I love the group of girls and we have lots of talented coaches who push us to excel and perform.

“I find that the level of skill is higher and more is expected from you. Everyone on the team loves volleyball and has had a lot of experience playing, which makes practices more intense. I believe I am fitting in really well. Like I said earlier, the girls are awesome. They are all super friendly and are always willing to answer questions. It’s definitely weird being a younger player on a team again, but it is exciting learning from the more experienced players.”