By Ryan Laverty
The only holes on last year’s Dinos men’s volleyball squad were the ones on their nets. But with the departure of perennial stalwarts Bill Byma and Mark Ellingson, it was clear to Head Coach Greg Ryan some holes needed to be addressed.
So, that is exactly what Ryan did this week as his team welcomed three new faces to an already deep roster. Paul Armbruster, Kelly Cherniwchen, and Chris Galenzoski, will all don the red, black and gold next season. And according to Ryan, all should make immediate impacts on the team.
"We were committed from the start to finding guys who were of the utmost character, and discipline, and also quality players on the court." Explained Ryan. "All three of these guys are mature and very talented."
Whether there is a relationship between all three having unpronounceable surnames and a high degree of maturity and talent
remains to be seen. However, a contributing commonality between these fresh faces is the fact that all have at least three years of experience at a post-secondary institution.
Armbruster spent one year at Lethbridge Community College before heading to Briercrest College in Saskatchewan. At Briercrest he earned the right to call himself the team’s Most Valuable Player, a 2001 Alberta College Athletic Conference first-team all-star, and an academic All-Canadian.
"Paul followed his religion to Briercrest." Said Ryan. "He is a Christian and felt it would be beneficial to him to go to a Christian school before university."
The 22-year old Cherniwchen spent three seasons on the floor with Red Deer College as a Libero before making the trek down Highway 2 to the University of Calgary. During his time in Red Deer, Cherniwchen accumulated a number of accolades including back to back Canadian Colleges Athletic Association all-Canadian honours in 1999 and 2000.
"Kelly was forced to take last year off due to a knee injury. But it he is back to 100 per cent and I expect him to help us a lot with his passing ability," predicted Ryan.
The third, Galenzoski, is no different than his two cohorts in the path taken to the Jack Simpson Gymnasium. A power outside player, he spent three years in the college ranks at Malaspina in British Columbia before moving into the position held in a chokehold by Byma for the past few seasons.
According to Ryan the fact that all three are coming from college programs is no coincidence.
"You’re going to see a lot more guys choosing that route in the years to come," replied Ryan. "It gives these guys a better experience. They don’t find themselves having to sit on the bench for the first few years after high school. They get to play and grow in the college situation."
There is still no confirmation that complicated names contribute to higher levels of talent or maturity.