The McMaster men’s volleyball team received a great post-holiday gift, when top prospect Andrew Richards of London became the program’s first recruit commitment for the 2014 season.
Richards capped off a tremendous high school career at Oakridge Secondary School, where he helped win four straight city and regional championships, by being named London’s Mr. Volleyball, a title awarded to the top graduating male player in the Thames Valley Region. He also led his Oakridge Oaks to three silvers and one gold medal at AAA OFSAA.
The newest Marauder said the decision to don Maroon came down to McMaster’s reputation for outstanding academics and athletics. “Some key factors to my decision were the great campus environment, the courses offered, and the opportunity to play on such a dedicated and hard working team, “Richards said. “I am excited to have the opportunity to learn so much from all of my coaches and teammates. When watching the Mac volleyball team, I was very impressed with the level of intensity and passion they brought to each match.”
Currently in charge of the top-ranked university team in Canada, McMaster Coach Dave Preston is extremely excited about welcoming Richards into the Marauder family.
“Regarded as one of the best players in the country, Andrew is a perfect fit for McMaster Volleyball,” Preston said. “His talents are only surpassed by his character. Andrew understands what it takes to be successful and is fully aware and capable of following the process in order to continue to excel in what is already a significant volleyball resume.”
A 6-3 left-side player, Richards was a member of Ontario’s U18 provincial team in 2013, and he has been a standout for the London Volleyball Club on the Ontario Volleyball Association (OVA) circuit.
“I am excited now that my recruiting process is over and I can focus on preparing and training as much as I can to make next year an easier transition on and off the court,” said Richards about making his choice on where to start his CIS career. “I look forward to joining the team and I can’t wait to arrive at school. I believe being at McMaster will push me to my personal best as an athlete and student.”
Also an accomplished beach player Richards, and his partner Jake MacNeil of Georgetown, qualified in December to compete at the Youth Olympic Games, being held in Nanjing, China in August.