Five top Ontario volleyball players choose York for 2005-2006

The York University Lions women’s volleyball team has added five top recruits to its roster for the 2005-2006 season.

   Meghan O'Doherty
Head coach Hernán Humaña said he was pleased by the decision of middle Nicole Carleton-Burnham of St. Catharines, libero Krysty Girardo of Etobicoke, setter Katie Jenkins of Toronto, outside hitter Meghan O’Doherty of Ottawa and setter Nadia Reider of Toronto, to attend York next year.

Right: From left, Nicole Carleton-Burnham and Meghan O’Doherty

“We have an excellent crop of student athletes coming to York,” said Humaña, the 2004-2005 Ontario University Athletics (OUA) East Division Coach of the Year. “Not only do these five players provide a foundation for the future but they will all step in and contribute immediately. This is one of our best recruiting classes of recent years.”

Carleton-Burnham could immediately become a dominant middle player in the OUA. The 6’1″ middle spent three seasons with the Niagara College Knights of the Ontario Colleges Athletic Association (OCAA) where she was a league all-star in 2004. “Nicole is a tremendously powerful athlete,” said Humaña. “She is an aggressive blocker and has the ability to become an impact player in the league right away.”

A graduate of the York Region Stingrays volleyball club, Girardo was recruited by the Lions’ coaching staff four years ago. After attending the University of Alberta, Girardo decided to return home and join the Lions for the 2005-2006 campaign. She is a cousin of Brad Girardo, a setter with the OUA Champion York Lioins men’s volleyball team. “A libero and power hitter with superb ball control, Krysty can become a critical part of the success of our team,” Humaña said .

One of the top beach volleyball players in Canada, Jenkins is a versatile athlete with excellent ball control. Jenkins and partner Vivian Chan are the reigning Canadian under-18 beach volleyball champions and will represent Canada at the World Beach Volleyball Championships in France later this summer. “Katie can execute a number of skills very well,” said Humaña. “Her commitment and studious approach to volleyball make her a true scholar of the game.”

O’Doherty is a product of the National Capitals, one of the best volleyball club programs in Ontario. She led the Capitals to the provincial under-18 title and a top-10 finish at the national championship this past season. A strong defensive player, she is also a consistent threat offensively. “Meghan is one of the most intelligent hitters I have seen,” said Humaña. “Her ability to avoid or use the block is remarkable.”

One of the most sought-after recruits in Ontario, Reider chose York over several other Canadian and American universities. She joins former conference all-stars Dana Haan and Sue Craig as graduates of the Peel Selects club program that have moved on to play for York. Reider has an excellent understanding of the game and has the potential to be an exceptional setter in the OUA. “Nadia is a coach’s dream,” said Humaña. “She is calm, fast and always one step ahead of the play.”

The Lions, who finished the OUA East Division regular season in first place in the with a record of 15-4 last year, will open the 2005-2006 regular season at Western on Oct. 22.

This article was submitted to YFile by Jim McLarty, sport & recreation information officer for York’s School of Kinesiology & Health Science.