November 8th, 2015
The VIU Women’s Volleyball Team is pleased to announce more top caliber recruits who have chosen Vancouver Island University as their home for next season. It’s hard to imagine that the VIU squad could match last week’s major announcement that the team had landed 2 of the top power hitters in the Province…until this week! The team has picked up 2 impact middle attackers, Natalie Crews and Amanda Dobbyn.
Natalie Crews is a 6 foot 1 Middle blocker from Sentinel High School in West Vancouver. She is a member of the BCO club system that has produced some great players and teams over the past few decades! She has been a member of Team BC in the past and has seen a great deal of success with both her high school and club volleyball teams. This past summer Natalie was sidelined with an injury and chose to dedicate her time to getting stronger and faster. She trained with a personal trainer, Darrin Moreira of Moreira Performance Training. She worked out every day throughout the summer alternating between sprint interval training and lifting. Natalie has come back extremely fit and strong and has developed into one of the top middles in the entire province. Natalie is a member of the North Vancouver Centre of Excellence (VCCE) where she works with head coaches Dan Huzar, Wes Webb and Rob Gowe to name a few. “There is no doubt that we were looking for an impact middle to replace our All-Canadian, Tylar Turnbull” explained Mariner Head Coach, Shane Hyde. “I wasn’t aware at how talented Natalie was until she came and worked with our team. We gave her player of the practice! She plays with passion and emotion which I love in my athletes. She is also so dynamic with her offensive ability and she makes her block look effortless. There is no question Natalie with be a major force in the PACWEST for as long as she wants to stay,” Hyde continued.
Amanda Dobbyn is the 2nd middle to sign with the Mariners. Amanda is a 6 foot 1 Dover Bay graduate. A local player from Nanaimo who decided to venture down to the USA to play straight out of high school. Currently Amanda is attending Black Hawk College in Illinois where she just finished her season. Amanda is familiar with the VIU program. She has been a member of the Mariner summer camps for years and in 2015 was a member of the Mariner Volleyball Club team which was coached by Jordan Church, the current Mariner’s assistant coach. Amanda’s volleyball resume is quite lengthy. She was part of the 2013 Team BC program, led Dover Bay Senior Girls to 2nd at AAA Island Championships and 6th at AAA Provincial Championships in 2014. Amanda was selected as an All-Star at the Island Championships and an Honorable Mention All-Star at the Provincial Championships. Amanda was selected as the Athlete of the Year in 2015 at Dover Bay. “Amanda was a player that I have always been very interested in,” explained Hyde. “She has always been a good player, but during last club season Amanda’s skills really improved. She became an extremely effective blocker and her confidence elevated and allowed her offensive ability to excel. It was late in the season last year and we had already filled our roster otherwise I would have loved to have her then. I am just thankful that we have a second chance with Amanda,” added Hyde.
“We wanted to improve on our size, blocking and the ability to end rallies.” Hyde concluded. “With the additions of Sadie Wilson 6 foot power, Amanda Matsui 6’1”power, Natalie Crews 6’1” middle and Amanda Dobyyn 6’1” middle we have achieved our goals. All of these people are great teammates on and off the court. They all possess the passion to improve and to win. These athletes paired with the current returning athletes will make our team a very strong program for the future! I am extremely excited for next season. Most importantly now I can relax and concentrate on this seasons task at hand. I am happy to continue to improve with this year’s team and give them my full attention now!” quoted Coach Hyde.