Mortensen named to Na­tional B vol­ley­ball team

The Southwest Booster - - SPORTS - STEVEN MAH SOUTH­WEST BOOSTER

Dy­lan Mortensen’s rapid growth in the vol­ley­ball world con­tin­ues as the Swift Cur­rent na­tive was named to Vol­ley­ball Canada’s Mens Na­tional B Team last week.

The 6’7’’ out­side at­tacker had been in Gatineau, Quebec for a se­lec­tion camp and made the fi­nal ros­ter that will con­tinue to train in Gatineau through­out the sum­mer.

“Ob­vi­ously it is a huge honour for me to be able to rep­re­sent not only Saskatchew­an as a prov­ince, but Swift Cur­rent as a city and the Univer­sity of Saskatchew­an as well. It’s pretty amaz­ing that a kid from Swift Cur­rent can be on one of th­ese teams. It is a great feel­ing for sure,” said Mortensen in be­tween train­ing ses­sions in Gatineau.

Mortensen’s sum­mer may now in­clude the Pan Amer­i­can Cup in Guadala­jara, Mex­ico (June 14-22), the Pan Amer­i­can Games in Lima, Peru (July 25 – Au­gust 4), and the NORCECA Cham­pi­ons Cup in Colorado Springs (Au­gust 20-25).

Mortensen said the camp be­gan with ap­prox­i­mately 40 play­ers and he was amongst the nine who were se­lected. The ros­ter will be rounded out by a hand­ful of play­ers who are al­ready in the na­tional team pro­gram.

Mortensen’s week be­gan with meet­ings and then was fol­lowed by three days of prac­tices and scrim­mages.

“In the af­ter­noon on the last day I had my meet­ing and they must have just liked what they saw and they se­lected me for the team. It was pretty amaz­ing,” he ex­plained.

The grad­u­ate of the Swift Cur­rent Ju­nior Sun­dogs and the Swift Cur­rent Comp. Colts vol­ley­ball pro­grams re­cently com­pleted his sec­ond sea­son with the Univer­sity of Saskatchew­an Huskies men’s vol­ley­ball team. He was named a Canada West con­fer­ence sec­ond-team all-star af­ter lead­ing the Huskies with 3.58 kills per set. Mortensen was fourth in Canada West with 304 kills over 22 matches as the Huskies fin­ished fifth in the reg­u­lar sea­son with a 12-10 record.

Af­ter tak­ing a red­shirt in his first sea­son, Mortensen was named the Canada West and U Sports Rookie of the Year in 2017-18.

“It was a great year. I def­i­nitely learned a lot from my first year play­ing and my sec­ond year we started to click more as a team. Mak­ing play­offs was huge for us be­fore los­ing some tough games to Mount Royal. It was a good year and a re­ally solid squad. Look­ing for­ward to get­ting bet­ter again next year.”

Mortensen had pre­vi­ously planned to work for the sum­mer in Swift Cur­rent, plans that changed sud­denly last week.

“We’ll do morn­ing prac­tices and lift weights ei­ther be­fore or right af­ter. Break for lunch and then prac­tice again in the evenings. We are all just liv­ing in apart­ments here in Gatineau,” said Mortensen, who has been roomed up with Scar­bor­ough, On­tario’s Dae­nan Gy­i­may, who plays for the UCLA Bru­ins.

He is al­ready en­joy­ing be­ing im­mersed in vol­ley­ball with the top play­ers in Canada.

“Yeah it’s pretty crazy to see lots of the ‘A’ guys and go prac­tice and be in the gym. Be­ing in that close prox­im­ity with them is pretty amaz­ing. It’s a hum­bling ex­pe­ri­ence for sure to be able to be here.

“I just want to learn ev­ery­thing I can be­cause there’s so much vol­ley­ball knowl­edge here. I will get as much out of my vol­ley­ball ex­pe­ri­ence as I can and en­joy be­ing away from home for the next four months as much as I can.”

GETMYPHOTO.CA PHOTO

Swift Cur­rent’s Dy­lan Mortensen (left) has been named to the Mens Na­tional Vol­ley­ball B Team.

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