Laura MacDonald didn’t think she was even going to make the St. Thomas women’s volleyball team after taking two years off from the sport. She nearly missed the first tryout. Now, she is leading the league in service aces and was named STU athlete of the week in mid-November.
“I’m not used to getting recognition for what I’m doing,” said MacDonald. “It’s a little bit baffling, because I’m shy. I’m a really shy person.”
MacDonald is in her third year at STU, but decided not to play the past two years. She used that time to take a break from the sport. She had played six years of year-round volleyball before coming to STU. In the tenth grade, she won a provincial volleyball championship at Oromocto High School, breaking the schools 36 year championship drought for the schools girls’ volleyball team.
She doesn’t regret the decision to take the time off and thinks it made her appreciate the sport more going forward. Now, she is happy to be back.
“I really missed the game. I missed the sport and I missed being on a team. I just decided that I’d regret it if I didn’t try out,” said MacDonald.
Leading up to tryouts, MacDonald hadn’t played in six months. She was worried that the time off was going to hurt her chances of making the team. As if that wasn’t enough, MacDonald got into a car accident on her way to the first tryouts. She called coach Don McKay to let him know, but was worried he wouldn’t take her because she got whiplash.
“I was sick to my stomach for two weeks,” said MacDonald. “I was really worried that I was going to be a little bit behind, but I really feel good so far.”
And so should her team. The Tommies have been playing well, and have a 3-2 record to prove it. One of those games came against the Mount Saint Vincent Mystics, who hadn’t lost to an ACAA team in three years.
Laura MacDonald had eight service aces in that game. She said she didn’t even know the Mystics had been doing that well.
“I’m kind of glad they didn’t tell me,” said MacDonald. When she found out, she was impressed.
“I was like, holy crap we must be doing pretty good.”
The Tommies have their sights set on playoffs. Despite having a strong team, it won’t be easy. The ACAA if full of tough competition, as all eight have suffered a loss, and only two have yet to win. Regardless, MacDonald thinks the Tommies can make some noise come playoff time.
“I’m confident we can make playoffs and do well in playoffs,” said MacDonald. “We just need to continue communicating and have confidence.”