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Thursday, 02 October 2014 05:57

SunDogs in good hands this season

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Briana Wilms and Britany Snow put SunDogs through their paces at a practice earlier this week ahead of this weekend's shared tournament with Pambrun. Briana Wilms and Britany Snow put SunDogs through their paces at a practice earlier this week ahead of this weekend's shared tournament with Pambrun.

Millar College of the Bible and the Great Plains College SunDogs volleyball squads will have an opportunity to show what they’re made of as they are co-hosting a tournament this weekend.

Both programs are in solid hands.
Kevin Peters has led and groomed the athletic program in Pambrun for years and will be tough again this season. Besides having good athletes, the SunDogs have some solid coaching themselves and will be tough to beat.
The men are led by Travis Cuthbert who is in fourth year with SunDogs athletics. He coached his teams to win provincials in 2011 and 2013 and earned the Prairie Athletic Conference Coach of the Year honours in those same years. He is once again joined by assistant coach Gerod Wiens.
The SunDogs men’s team did well at a recent tournament in Three Hills and showed they will be difficult to play against again.
The women’s team didn’t have as many Ws in the win column, but that didn’t matter to the two new coaches at the helm. Assistant Britany Snow is a recognizable face as she is a registered nurse at the Swift Current hospital who recently moved to the city from Nova Scotia. Prior to arriving in southwest Sask., Snow spent three years coaching regional high-school and club volleyball.
Wilms says she will concentrate on skill-specifics with major emphasis on setting. The team’s head coach however is Swift Current Comp grad and athletics star Briana Wilms.
There will be no lack of enthusiasm from Wilms who can’t wait to get the season started. She says tryouts were Sept. 5 and they have held two practices a week since. It's taking a while, but she is understanding what each person can do. For example, she had targeted one player to play in the back row, but due to circumstances ended up playing front row and was excellent.
“A lot of the girls I didn’t know at all,” explains Wilms. “I’m starting to get to know them now.”
She says the two-hour practices are allowing her to understand not only what they are capable of physically, but how they want to be coached.
“I’ve seen their true colours now,” Wilms says with a laugh. “We’ve had a couple of games now and we’ve started out slow, but then they came back and showed they still had fight in them.”
While she was in Ogden, Utah playing at Weber State University, Wilms was injured and spent time on the bench. While spending a to of time near the coaching staff, she learned two very opposite styles of methodology regarding handling players.
Wilms says she wants to increase the tempo of the offence a bit, but it looks like they will have a good defence. She admits they really need to work on their serving. 
“Communications is key,” explains Wilms, who notes this is crucial considering the players are from all over and are lacking familiarity with each other. Players hail from Swift Current, Kyle, Hodgeville, Herbert, etc. “We can be a lot louder as well.”
While learning and developing as a unit is all well and good, Wilms isn’t out for any gold stars in the “nice try” category.
“I’m competitive; I’m ready to win now,” she adds with a laugh.
Wilms majored in accounting at Weber State University. She is currently working at Stark and Marsh in Swift Current. She attended university on a Division 1 volleyball scholarship after an excellent high school and club go in southern Sask. She started playing volleyball by attending camps in Grade 4 and then by Grade 6 she was playing at Fairview. By the time she hit Grade 9, she was the first girl to make the senior team as a true freshman. She graduated from the Comp. in 2009.
Wilms is looking forward to this tournament as many family and friends will be there to check it out.
SunDog Match results from tournament in  Three-Hills, Alta. (Prairie Bible Institute).
September 26
• Men vs Prairie Bible Institute — Sundogs win in two sets; vs Kelsey — Sundogs lose in three sets.
• Women vs Bethany Bible College — Sundogs win in three sets; vs Prairie Bible Institute — Sundogs lose in two sets.
SunDogs results Sept. 27
• Men vs Millar College — Sundogs lost in three sets; vs Bethany College — Sundogs won in three sets; vs Palliser — Sundogs won in three sets; vs Woodlands — Sundogs won in two sets.
• Women vs Millar College — Sundogs lost in  two sets; vs Woodlands — Sundogs lost in two sets; vs Kelsey — Sundogs lost in two sets.
Schedule for Great Plains SunDogs/Millar Edge Volleyball Tournament
Friday Oct. 3 GPC gym: GPC men’s vs Bethany-3 p.m.; Millar vs Prairie 5:30 p.m.; GPC men’s vs. Kelsey; 6:45 p.m.; GPC mens vs Woodlands 8 p.m.
Friday Oct. 3 Millar Gym: Millar women vs. Prairie, 5:30 p.m.; Millar Women vs Bethany, 6:45 p.m.
Saturday Oct. 4 GPC Gym: GPC women vs. Kelsey, 8 a.m.; Millar women vs Kelsey 11:45 a.m.; GPC women vs Woodlands 1 p.m.; GPC women vs Bethany 4:45 p.m.; Millar women vs Woodlands 7:15 p.m.
Saturday Oct. 4  Millar gym: Millar men vs Bethany 8 a.m.; Millar vs. Kelsey 2:15 p.m.; Millar men vs Woodlands 7:15 p.m.; Millar men vs Palliser 8:30 p.m.

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Ryan Dahlman

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