I t ‘s a big load off Doug Groenendijk’s shoulders now that he has picked his next destination.
The Duncan Christian School athletic standout was highly sought after by volleyball coaches across the country, but he decided last week to commit to Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops.
"The WolfPack are a great volleyball team and I think I can learn a lot from [head coach Pat Hennelly]," Groenendijk said. "I spent some time in Kamloops last summer with Team BC. That experience gave me some great insight into what the campus is like."
Groenendijk will be joining some of his Team BC teammates in Kamloops, which factored into his decision. He will also be playing alongside Matt Krueger, his head coach with Team BC and a libero with the WolfPack.
Playing high-level volleyball in Canadian Interuniversity Sport was a goal of Groenendijk’s, although he knows that the transition from 1A high school volleyball to the CIS will be a challenge.
"It’s gonna be a big step," he acknowledged. "It’s a way faster game, and everyone is physically fit, so I no longer have that advantage."
Groenendijk has registered for the Bachelor of Arts program.
Doug will be the third member of his family to play post-secondary volleyball. His brother Cameron has played four years with Redeemer University College in Ontario, and his older sister Megan has played two years at Vancouver Island University. A younger sister, Danielle, is an emerging star at DCS as well.
Hennelly is excited about adding Groenendijk, who helped DCS to a fourth-place finish at the provincial 1A championships last fall. "Douglas has a lot of potential on the court," he said. "He has good vertical and a long reach. He has a great work ethic like [Krueger] says and will fit in great with our incoming recruits and current players. Douglas is another smalltown guy. I like the work ethic and attitude that often comes from small-town players."