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Making an impression

Brandon's Barclay takes shot at cracking national volleyball team lineup

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Everything Lisa Barclay has learned about volleyball and sports over the years tells her to live in the right here and right now.

And so that was the approach the Brandon product took over the four days of tryouts at Volleyball Canada's 2013 Women's Senior National Team Open Selection Camp at the University of Manitoba this week.

Do the work now and dream later.

"It's an honour every time to come and play with these girls," said Barclay Thursday during a break in the final tryout session on Thursday. "It's such a high level. And so I definitely have to scrap for every point at this because everyone is so good. You can never let up and never get too comfortable.

"When you're at camp you're just thinking about this day and this practice and just making the team."

But...

"But," Barclay added with a smile, "my goal is definitely to play in the Olympics in Rio or in 2020."

This is Barclay's fifth camp with the national team -- two years ago she played on the 'B' team and last season she was promoted to the big club. The Crocus Plains High School grad has spent the last three years with the University of British Columbia as that program continued its run of six consecutive championships. Barclay has played a huge role in the last two in particular, as the championship tournament's MVP both years.

"She's a very physical player," said national team head coach Arnd Ludwig. "She's tall and she hits the ball very hard. She's a very good player."

Barclay was one of four Manitobans among 46 players at the camp, along with Tricia Mayba, Nicole Hall and Amanda Bakker -- all from Winnipeg. Three other Manitobans are on Team Canada's radar but aren't coming to the rest of the tryout camp until the completion of their professional or NCAA seasons, including Megan Cyr of St. Andrews, Tabi Love of Dauphin and Alicia Ogoms of Winnipeg.

Ludwig said the team is undergoing a bit of an overhaul as a number of girls retired after the last Olympic qualifying cycle. This year the plan is to name an extended 'A' team instead of an 'A' and 'B' squad. The team will participate in the Pan Am Cup in Peru in June and the FISU Games in Kazan, Russia in July before Winnipeg plays host to international exhibition matches slated for Aug. 19-23 in preparation for the NORCECA Continental Championship, which will be held in Omaha, Neb., in September.

The final roster won't be declared until May 23.

"This year is about consistent skill development and because it's a new team we have to get the team chemistry and how we play set up," said Ludwig. "For us, this year is not about the placing but the performances.

"One of the big problems we have in Canada is that players retire early because they are done university, then they give it a shot for four years to see if we can make the Olympics. And so if we don't make it a lot of the players retire. We had a little bit of turnover last year and more this year as well."

Meanwhile, Volleyball Canada named its 22-man World League roster on Thursday that will compete in the FIVB World League tournament that begins in late May and it includes four Manitobans -- Dustin Schneider, Brandon; Toon Van Lankvelt, Rivers; Jason DeRocco, Winnipeg; Juston Duff, Winnipeg.

ed.tait@freepress.mb.ca Twitter: @WFPEdTait

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition May 3, 2013 C7

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