Print Edition: March 13, 2013
Weight: 200 lbs
Major: Criminal Justice/Sociology minor
Favourite class: Sociology of The Simpsons
Favourite prof: Terry Anderson
Favourite food: Salmon
Favourite Abbotsford restaurant: Nando’s
Favourite musical artist/ genre: Led Zeppelin/ Progressive Rock
This season, the UFV men’s volleyball team put to court a very young side with only one graduating senior player. That player is none other than fifth-year middle, Trevor Nickel. The former MEI Eagle finished the year ninth among all PACWEST players with 43 blocks in 71 sets played. Trevor also captained the Cascades to a 4-0 finish to the regular season which ensured yet another playoff appearance for UFV.
Nickel sat down to talk a little about his five years wearing the green.
How did you get into volleyball, when did you first start playing?
In high school, it was kind of just the something to do before basketball season. The teams that I played on turned out to be really good and we started winning provincial championships. I was like, “this is a lot more fun!”
It seems as if basketball was your original focus, why did you decide to play collegiate volleyball instead?
There was just more options for me in volleyball. I was beginning to like it more; I started playing club and meeting guys who were playing around the province. I was starting to develop more connections that way and I was beginning to enjoy it more than basketball as well.
How have you seen the UFV team grow or improve during your time here?
Well, my first year coming in we were number one in the country, we had a really good team. Ever since my second year, we have been in a rebuilding phase; however, this last year was the peak of that so the team is only going to get better. All those younger guys coming up together will improve a lot next year and the year after that.
How much have you needed to adjust from playing on a number one ranked team to having to battle for the final playoff spots in the league?
It was kind of taken for granted; we had all these older players who always got it done. Once they were gone, everyone needed new roles and it was hard to adjust.
What was your favourite memory of being a part of the team and why does it stand out?
Probably when we qualified for nationals in my second year, because we weren’t supposed to. It was just really exciting how we got there; we peaked at the end of the season and then we kind of destroyed teams to qualify, it was really exciting.
What was your biggest personal accomplishment as a member of the Cascades?
Coming in my first year and being able to play right away when I wasn’t expecting to. Being able to start in my second year was also one of my biggest accomplishments. That summer I was competing for the position with three other guys. We were all pretty even so I had to work pretty hard in the offseason to improve and get stronger. I ended up getting the starting spot for the entire season.
What made you commit to volleyball during your five years in university, what did you love about it?
Well just being able to compete and be on a team, you can’t really replicate that in life later on. I savoured being able to be with a group of guys that are fun to hang out with, being able to compete night in and night out, and hey, it was nice to get a part of my schooling paid for as well.
What would you say to recruits coming to UFV about playing volleyball here?
You’re coming into a great group of guys who will work hard every night. Everyone is friends; there is no animosity on the team. It’s a really good team environment and the coaches help with that. It’s a great atmosphere to be in, competitive but relaxed at the same time.
Where to from here?
Well I’m graduating this semester and right now I’ve been applying to anywhere and everywhere. I also plan on moving sometime in the next few months.
Do you have any idea how much you’re going to miss playing for the team; have you given that any thought yet?
Yeah, I will miss it. Obviously it will suck not being able to compete. The thing I’ll miss the most is just being able to have the rush feeling at the end of games, when you have to get those last few points in the clutch. Experiencing those feelings with our guys I’ll miss, but you got to move on and do other things.