Noah Tulk is a player for the Tommies men's volleyball team at St. Thomas University. (Daniel Salas/AQ)

After the COVID-19 pandemic derailed his sophomore season, Noah Tulk has returned to the St. Thomas University Tommies volleyball team.

“COVID happened halfway through my second year, and I realized I wasn’t going to be playing,” said Tulk. “I wasn’t enjoying the schooling I was taking. I liked economics, but I wasn’t sure if that’s what I wanted to do.”

He transferred to the University of New Brunswick during the pandemic and started a kinesiology degree. Tulk is now taking three courses at both UNB and STU to finish his economics and kinesiology programs.

Tulk fell in love with volleyball in grade 12 but first picked it up in grade 11. Before that, he had always been a hockey player. After his senior volleyball season in high school, Tulk was recruited by the coach of STU’s men’s volleyball team, Henri Mallet.

Aside from sports, family is one of the most important things in Tulk’s life, which is why he decided to play for STU where his parents could watch him play in-person. He’s from the Fredericton area and wanted to keep the relationships he built with his friends.

During his rookie year in 2018, STU won its ninth Conference Championship and became the most decorated team in the history of the Atlantic Collegiate Athletic Association (ACAA).

Tulk said his strengths are one of the aspects that he feels sets him apart from an average player. He was STU’s most improved player during the 2019-20 season before the pandemic struck, which he said slowed down his production and development.

“If it weren’t for COVID, I wouldn’t have left,” he said.

Tulk has prepared himself for this comeback because even though he left the varsity level, he kept playing on senior men’s leagues to stay fresh and build his game.

Now that he’s back for the upcoming season, Tulk is confident that the team will be able to win the ACAA Championships this year.

“We have a good group of guys,” said Tulk.

Tulk came back because he wanted to have options after graduation, which double majoring provides, but also because there was something missing for him.

“I just missed playing volleyball,” said Tulk.