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Carly Gunter joins TRU WolfPack women's volleyball team
KAMLOOPS—The Thompson Rivers University WolfPack women’s volleyball program is hoping a little ‘Gunter magic' will rub off on them as they retool their program.
The WolfPack and head coach Chad Grimm are pleased to announce their fourth recruit for the 2014-15 Canada West season – 5’8” setter Carly Gunter of Courtenay has committed to the program beginning in the fall.
Carly is the younger sister of WolfPack men’s star Brad, the 2013-14 Canada West and CIS Most Valuable Player. Carly is graduating this June from Georges P. Vanier Secondary and will be enrolled in business courses at Thompson Rivers.
“I decided on TRU because I really like the school and the campus,” says Gunter, who is playing club volleyball this spring with the Comox Valley Strikers. “ I wanted to go to a university and challenge myself both in academics and athletics. TRU has a strong business program and it will be nice to go to the same school as Brad.”
Carly admits that her big brother did have some influence on her deciding to continue her academic and athletic career in Kamloops. "He really likes it and wanted me to come here. I think he tried to be impartial in my decision but he couldn’t help but talk up the university a lot. In the end, my decision was made by the school itself and the opportunity to play at a high level and really improve.”
She believes her strengths as a player are her serve and her willingness to hustle. "I am a strong mental player and can work through tough game situations.”
Her assistant coach at Vanier was Cheyla Reader, a former Columbia Bible College (2004-09) and Vancouver Island University (2012-13) player who’s brother Martin is one of Canada’s top beach players and was an Olympian in 2012. "I think that more than her skill on the court, it’s her intangible skill set that shines," Reader said.
"She is extremely competitive and leaves it all on the floor. She is an excellent leader, especially as a setter in that she stays upbeat and does her best to encourage her team to perform to their best. Carly wants to be the best athlete she can be, so she is coachable and willing to learn.”
Reader says Gunter will be do well at the CIS level due to her attitude and competitive spirit. "It’s obviously a big step from high school ball, but given time to adjust to the level and the expectations, and with good coaching to bring her up to speed, I think she will be a solid player.”
Vanier finished 12 th at the 2013 B.C. AAAA provincials after winning the Vancouver Island title earlier in the season.
Carly is looking forward to joining her brother in making TRU a force in all aspects of CIS volleyball. "We were pretty close as children; we have always gotten along really well. I always looked up to him and it will be fun to live with him next year. It’ll also be fun to travel around Western Canada and to have family around as I start university.”
Coach Grimm states: “I am looking forward to having Carly join our program. TRU is the place she wanted to go as it was a good fit both academically and allows her to join her brother here in Kamloops. Carly may not be the biggest or most physical Gunter on campus, but by all accounts she will be the toughest.
"Adding this to our group will be a great help as well as her flexibility in training at the setting or libero position. With her work ethic I know she will be successful at either one of those spots. It will be great to have Carly at TRU in the fall!”
Gunter joins: Tyneille Neufeld (Winnipeg, MB), Alyssa Wolf (White Rock, BC) and Krista Hogewoning (Surrey, BC) as confirmed signings for the WolfPack program.
SERVICE ACES Reader on the connection she and Gunter have: “We connected on this issue because I too have an older brother who has been extremely successful in the volleyball world. If anything, Carly recognized and celebrated Brad’s success and got on with her own season. I think she has handled Brad’s success really well and allowed it to inspire her to be successful in her own right."
As far as an anecdote goes, Reader remembers laughing at certain funny things that Gunter did while playing defence. "My favourite memories with Carly were the conversations we had about volleyball and life,” she says. “I connected well with Carly because I recognized a kindred spirit in terms of her desire to win and play good volleyball. We had a lot of conversations about different ways she could be an impact player and lead well and those stand out to me because they show her character and desire to be the best she can be.”
And she adds: "I am a big fan of Carly’s and so excited she has decided to play at TRU."
– Thompson Rivers University WolfPack