© Jason Malloy/The Guardian
Emily Caldwell is the Holland College Hurricanes longest serving player.
Hurricanes veteran excited to represent college at volleyball nationals
As the losses piled up Emily Caldwell considered giving up the sport she loved.
Caldwell made the Hurricanes volleyball team in 2012-13 in her first year at Holland College.
The team went 0-16.
"It kind of turned me off from the game," Caldwell said. "I know winning is (definitely) not everything, but it just wasn't fun."
She considered going home to Hartland, N.B., and not playing volleyball.
But she enjoyed the medical support service program and new coach Lori-Beth Dwyer had taken over the Hurricanes.
Year 2 was slightly better. The Hurricanes went 1-17, but the team was improving and the spirit within the team was better, Caldwell said.
The big breakthrough came in 2014-15 with the addition of some key recruits. The team went 15-6, finishing second in the conference's regular season and playoffs.
This year, the team went 18-3 and lost in the championship game to Mount Saint Vincent.
"LB did an amazing job," Caldwell said of her coach's ability to recruit and retain good players and build the Hurricanes into a respectable program. "It was beginning to be the college level I came here to play for."
Thursday, Caldwell and her teammates will make their first appearance at the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association championship as the host squad for the eight-team tournament.
"I don't even think it's real yet," the 24-year-old middle said before Monday's practice. "It's going to be great. It's going to be a really good experience."
With this being her final year, Caldwell said, she wants to soak in the whole week.
The Hurricanes enter the week as the eight seed and will play No. 1-seeded Garneau Elans Thursday at 6 p.m.
Caldwell said they would like to win and advance as deep as they can while also having fun.
The Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association women's volleyball championship will take place this week in Charlottetown. The following is the schedule for Thursday's opening round. Teams seedings are in parenthesis.
1 p.m. - Humber Hawks (2) vs. Mount Saint Vincent Mystics (7).
3 p.m. - Briercrest Clippers (3) vs. Vancouver Island University Mariners (6).
6 p.m. - Garneau Elans (1) vs. Holland College Hurricanes (8).
8 p.m. - College Of The Rockies Avalanche vs. The King's Eagles (5).