Howard Tsumura, The Province
SURREY — Kiera Van Ryk has never let her ability get in the way of humility.
In fact, ask those who have watched a player many feel is the most accomplished Grade 12 girl high school volleyball player in Canada, and it’s a tribute to her that in the same breath in which they speak to her skill set, that enough air is budgeted to talk about a depth of character just as rare.
“Being so grounded, I can see her not wanting to be in the limelight,” said UBC head coach Doug Reimer, whose program won a recruiting battle for the junior national team star against the likes of Washington, Nebraska and Penn State. “But she is growing with all of her experiences and she is starting to get more comfortable with it.
“There are times when she elevates her play and just takes over a match,” he continued of the 6-2 outside hitter from Surrey Christian School. “I like the duality of it all, having a person who is a humble teammate but also has that huge competitive streak.”
No one is arguing.
The clear choice of the Province’s five-member voting panel comprised of head coaches from B.C.’s U Sports and NCAA programs, Van Ryk stands especially tall as the 2016 B.C. girls senior varsity Player of the Year.
“This is a big thing for me,” Van Ryk said. “The way I look at it, it’s a huge compliment that the coaches voted for me and that they have seen all the hard work that I have put in.”
A leading light with the Canadian junior national team, Van Ryk enjoyed a productive off-season from the high school circuit beginning last spring for both her club and her country.
She then entered her senior season at Surrey Christian, helping the Falcons to a third-place finish earlier this month at the B.C. double-A championships.
And for her, the future bar is set pretty high.
“Through the years my goals have come clear to me,” she said. “I want to play for the (senior) national team and I want to possibly play pro.”
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