McMaster volleyball rookie Sophie Bukovec has been chosen as a member of Canada’s senior women’s beach volleyball team after a try-out camp held at the national training centre in Toronto. It’s the second straight year Bukovec has been selected to the senior beach team.
Bukovec and partner Tia Miric of Toronto are the two youngest members of the Canadian squad.
“It’s going to be an awesome experience to be training alongside people who are preparing to play at the Olympics,” said the Toronto native, who currently leads the Marauders in most offensive categories.
The selection process to choose the 16 athletes for the national team considered all the candidates individually, meaning past partners were not guaranteed selection. Bukovec was very happy that Miric also made the cut.
While excited about her selection, life just got more complicated for the outside hitter, who is in the middle of her first indoor season as a Marauder. “Things will be very hectic for me,” said Bukovec. “As soon as we (the Marauders) return from Florida, I have to attend a training camp at the national training centre.”
Fortunately there are no direct conflicts between her beach commitments and her McMaster varsity schedule.
She will be competing at the beach nationals in January in Toronto and depending on results could advance to regional (NORCECA) playoffs and possibly world championship events in July. Bukovec is eligible to compete at both the U21 and U23 world championships for 2014.
Entering her second year on the senior national beach team, Bukovec believes her indoor experience at McMaster will be beneficial to her future beach exploits. “With more players involved, it has helped me learn how to collaborate better,” explains Bukovec. “I’m also more comfortable adapting to new situations.”
Bukovec will get some advance time on the beach as the Marauders are heading to Florida over the holiday break for a warm weather training camp that includes tournament competition in preparation for the second half of Ontario University Athletics play. The season resumes on Friday, Jan. 10 when McMaster will host Western to kick off the 27th annual Marauder Weekend.