Megan Rosenlund

Megan Rosenlund

M’s leader will leave her own mark

Megan Rosenlund will play her final matches at the VIU gym as the Mariners host provincials this week (Feb. 23-25).

Coach Shane Hyde talked about a decade of volleyball with the Rosenlund sisters and how it must be unique in B.C. college sports.

But whatever the family legacy, there’s no question Megan Rosenlund came into her own and will leave her own mark on the VIU volleyball program.

Rosenlund, a graduating fifth-year captain and the PacWest Player of the Year, will play her final matches at the Vancouver Island University gym as the Mariners host provincial championships this week (Feb. 23-25).

Rosenlund will be in the thick of things, hitting, blocking, digging, passing and serving.

“She is our go-to player,” said Hyde. “She’s so consistent of an athlete. She’s always there, she’s always our hardest worker and she does it with a smile on her face and this kind of positive vibe to her that’s infectious to all of our athletes.”

Megan joined the VIU volleyball team the year after her sister Tamara graduated following a five-year career with the program. Megan considered other schools, but chose VIU because of its winning tradition and because she knew there were a lot of good players from whom she could learn.

She started out playing libero, the position her sister had played, specializing on the defensive side of the game. Megan had it in the back of her mind that she’d like to work her way up to the front row, though, and by her third year, she was at her preferred power hitter position.

“Once I got back to hitting I kind of got back to my groove and I was like, OK, this is where I’m supposed to be,” she said.

Hyde said it’s rare for a player to be able to do so many things on the court so well.

“Her level of play is so elite in everything she does, and that’s what makes her special,” he said.

As a team leader this year she does sometimes feel additional pressure to make the kill at the key moment.

“I’m going to do the smart play – I’m not going to bash it into the net or hit it out, hopefully,” she said. “I mean, I would love to get the kill down every single time – it’s maybe not realistic.”

Megan made the championship-winning kill at nationals last year and now, with provincials at VIU, she has a chance at another special season.

“My mind drifts there, but I’m aware of the thought when it’s there and I block it out,” she said. “I just want to play one practice at a time, one game at a time. I don’t want to think about any results. I just want to play volleyball and see where that gets me.”

She expects to complete a phys-ed degree next year, and then do more schooling with an eye to teaching. But there’s also a chance she’ll keep playing volleyball. She hasn’t told many people, she said, but she thinks about trying to play pro next season in a place like Germany, Denmark or Norway.

First, though, there’s at least one more weekend of college volleyball on the court where Rosenlunds have been winning matches for a decade.

“I’m excited for who comes out, and just the atmosphere and the energy,” Megan said. “I’m really going to take it all in.”

GAME ON … The PacWest championships start Thursday at 1 p.m. The VIU Mariners women play their semifinal on Friday at 6 p.m., followed by VIU’s men’s team, which plays Friday at 8 p.m. Saturday’s gold-medal matches are at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m.

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