KAREN CAO

November 21, 2017

Karen Cao: What do you like most about being on the team?

Aidan Mcleod: Something that really makes being on this team great is the friendship and dedication to the sport. Each player is so close with one another we basically consider each other a family. However, when it comes to practice and games, we are extremely focused on improving and winning.

Victor Hui: The thing I like most about being on the team is definitely the energy the boys bring to each and every game. You can really feel the passion from each of those guys on the court.

Patrick Li: I really loved getting on the court and working with the team, especially in big games. All the guys on our team are super competitive and we hate to lose, and I loved seeing that intensity growing in our team as we faced difficult competition.

KC: What is your favourite memory of the team?

AM: The best memory of the team this year is, without a doubt, our championship game held at Victoria Park. Not only were we victorious and came out with our first championship in 4 years, but we had also never seen so many people come to a volleyball game and cheer as loud as they did; the gym was practically shaking!

VH: One of my favourite memories would be the finals that we hosted at home. Coming out on top against Don Mills with the biggest home crowd I’ve seen in four years playing volleyball at Vic Park was definitely a memory I will never forget.

PL: My most memorable memory is definitely when we won the championship against Don Mills at home, but my favourite memory had to be when we narrowly missed out on Cities and winning regionals in grade 9. It was a really competitive game against York Mills, and we actually had a really good chance of winning, but we fell short in 3 sets. I felt like that was our best chance to make it to Cities in my whole high school career.

KC: Who/What do you look to for motivation?

AM: Firstly, myself and my teammates all look to our amazing coach Mr.Ivens for motivation. He has been coaching us for all 4 years of high school volleyball and knows exactly how to make us focus and play good volleyball. Personally, I also look to our captains, Victor Hui and Patrick Li, for motivation and support, and they did a great job this year giving the team that support.

VH: I definitely look at my teammates for motivation to succeed during a game. When you see a teammate perform an amazing play, it really gets the entire team pumped to play at our best and to keep that energy level up.

PL: I can get motivation from everyone around me. My teammates motivate me to do better when I am in a slump, because I need to show them I’m the captain and I’m better than that. I look to our opponents for motivation because I want them to see me as a dangerous threat. I look to my coach for motivation to prove to him what I’m capable of and I look to the crowd for motivation to give them an entertaining game.

KC: What makes a team?

AM: What really makes a good team is the players on the team and how they interact with each other. I can’t say that our team would be as great as it is without the amazing friendship, passion, and dedication we have for each other and for the sport. They say you are only as strong as your weakest player and we hold that very strongly on the Senior Boys’ Volleyball Team!

VH: Having a group of talented players doesn’t create a good team. In my opinion a good team is based on trust and mutual understanding. You need to be able to trust one another to play their role in order to win. For us it’s become even more than that and I really consider the team to be like family.

PL: A good team is a group of people who don’t turn on each other when we aren’t doing well, but a group of people who help each other improve and motivate each other to do better.

KC: What is a good piece of advice someone has given you?

AM: Our coach, Mr. Ivens, told us that “you perform in game how you play in practice”, which is basically saying that you always have to work hard in order to achieve your goals. I use this advice not only for sports, but in school as well (e.g. studying for tests and doing assignments). This is only one of many important pieces of advice our coach has given to us over 4 years of high school, and on behalf of the whole team we would all like to thank Mr. Ivens for shaping us into the people and volleyball players we are today.

VH: Coach Ivens always reminded us to play our game. This meant that even if we were facing a “weaker” team, to never slack off or play down to their level. This advice is important to me because it reminds me to not compare myself to those that are weaker but instead to those that are stronger and then play as best as I can in order to keep improving.

PL: Not exactly a piece of advice, but something specific that keeps me going in games and periods of poor performance is when I feel that someone has particularly offended me or insulted my ability to play the game. It can be trash talk from the other team or a coach telling me to pick it up, it all sparks a flame in me and makes me want to prove them wrong, and it always helps me perform better.