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The Western Star - - CLOSE TO HOME - BY DAVE KEARSEY [email protected]­ern­star.com Twit­ter: WS_S­port­sDesk

Nick Tay­lor is hop­ing for good things in his sec­ond year at Trent Univer­sity.

Nick Tay­lor en­joyed a break from the aca­demics and daily grind of life as a col­lege stu­dent, but he’s ex­cited to be back on the hard­wood with his Trent Univer­sity team­mates again.

Tay­lor, an 18-year-old Cor­ner Brook na­tive, is back on the vol­ley­ball court this week as Trent Univer­sity opened train­ing camp for the 2018-2019 On­tario Univer­sity As­so­ci­a­tion men’s vol­ley­ball sea­son.

A star at the high school level with the Cor­ner Brook Ti­tans grow­ing up in Cor­ner Brook, the six-foot-two Tay­lor joined Trent Univer­sity last sea­son when his plan to suit up with the Me­mo­rial Sea-Hawks didn’t ma­te­ri­al­ize af­ter the pro­gram was can­celled at MUN a few months be­fore the sea­son was about to start.

“It feels great. I def­i­nitely miss it through­out the sum­mer not be­ing able to play with the guys,” Tay­lor said.

Tay­lor ex­pects to be bet­ter in his sopho­more sea­son af­ter us­ing his first sea­son to ad­just to life af­ter high school in an en­vi­ron­ment that is hec­tic to say the least with his hon­ours bi­ol­ogy pro­gram keep­ing him busy when he’s not play­ing the game or spend­ing hours in the gym mak­ing sure he’s ready for some top-level vol­ley­ball.

He didn’t know what to ex­pect in his first year, but he knew his new digs would mean some type of learn­ing curve where he would have to keep up with a quicker pace against big­ger and sea­soned play­ers from around the coun­try.

He had to learn how to make quicker de­ci­sions and get a bet­ter read on the ball and he fig­ures he did that pretty well be­fore his first sea­son fin­ished so he’s ex­cited about see­ing how he holds up with one year punched.

“You need to learn it quick or you’re go­ing to be dead in the water,” Tay­lor said Wed­nes­day af­ter­noon from Trent Univer­sity.

He learned a lot about him­self and the game through his coaches and team­mates in one sea­son. He be­lieves he’s a bet­ter player and has ma­tured as a per­son from hav­ing to fend for him­self as he writes the next chap­ter of his life.

His team fin­ished up its in­au­gu­ral OUA sea­son with an 0-18 record and that’s not what any com­pet­i­tive ath­lete wants to see, but Tay­lor fig­ures the pain of go­ing all sea­son without a win could prove to be a mo­ti­vat­ing fac­tor in mov­ing for­ward as the guys learned a lot from what un­folded on the floor one year ago. On too many oc­ca­sions last sea­son, he said, the team was play­ing well and had a lead in sets, but let it slip away as if they didn’t know what was needed to put a stop to it and it cost them dearly in the stand­ings.

“We’re start­ing to learn how to fin­ish sets now and fin­ish matches so we’re goint to use that to help us get the wins,” he said.

He’s try­ing to get set­tled in for an­other sea­son where he ex­pects the team will bat­tle hard in the early go­ing to get the first W out of the way. He said it has slowly be­come easier to be ef­fec­tive in time man­age­ment and that’s half the bat­tle for him.

time to jug­gle aca­demics with ath­let­ics and that’s half the bat­tle as far he’s con­cerned.

“It’s cru­cial if you’re go­ing to play a var­sity sport,” he said.

STAR FILE PHOTO

Cor­ner Brook na­tive Nick Tay­lor ex­pects Trent Univer­sity to be a bet­ter team in his sopho­more sea­son in the On­tario Univer­sity As­so­ci­a­tion men’s vol­ley­ball setup.

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