Title: UBC women’s volleyball welcomes Nicola Laniuk
Date: June 21, 2013
Original Source: UBC Thunderbirds
Synopsis: This was a feature I wrote about incoming UBC women’s volleyball player Nicola Laniuk, a highly touted local recruit.
VANCOUVER – Another one of B.C.’s best young volleyball players is putting on a UBC jersey.
Junior national team member Nicola Laniuk will be joining the Thunderbirds for the upcoming 2013-14 Canada West regular season.
The 6-foot-3 Laniuk was named the No. 3 graduating volleyball player in B.C. by The Province newspaper. She is an elite-level middle-blocker who brings an exciting blend of size, skill and passion to campus.
“I’m fortunate enough to have found my passion early in life,” said Laniuk. “I’m ecstatic to be joining such a talented group of girls and coaches.”
“We are thrilled that Nicola is joining our program,” said UBC head coach Doug Reimer. “We see her playing a important role for us as she will provide great strength down the middle. In addition to her size and skill she brings a great enthusiasm to the court.”
Laniuk will already be familiar with UBC several players, as she played with current T-BirdsJuliana Kaufmanis and Dani Brisebois on the Junior National Team last summer.
The Thunderbirds haven’t won six straight national women’s volleyball titles on the wings of just one excellent crop of recruits. The program has done a fine job replenishing talent over the years, and that’s been on full display this offseason.
With CIS Athlete of the Year Shanice Marcelle (Victoria, BC) one of four graduating players, head coach Doug Reimer, and his staff, has moved swiftly to keep the pipeline of talent fresh and strong. Laniuk will be joining Alessandra Gentile, the top-rated volleyball player in the province, and Laura MacTaggart, a Junior National Team member from Alberta.
Laniuk, of Surrey, B.C. and Seaquam Secondary in Delta, B.C., led one of the top high school outfits in the province last season. Her Seaquam team finished second in the B.C. AAA tournament a year after winning the provincial championship. Laniuk was a First Team All-Star both seasons.
Laniuk brings a great deal of skill along with her size. Her leadership skills also make her stand out.
The confidence and leadership Laniuk displays might be a family trait. After all, her uncle Juda Widing played 10 seasons in the NHL and represented Sweden in the Canada Cup, while her uncle Corey Laniuk played professional hockey as well. The family has a clear lineage of athletic ability, and the desire to work hard and improve has been with Laniuk from an early age. It’s also given Laniuk some lofty career goals, none of which seem at all unreasonable given her abilities.
“One day I hope to be playing for the Senior National volleyball team and I believe playing for UBC can help me achieve that goal,” said Laniuk. “I’m honoured by the opportunity I have to play for a championship team with some of the best players across the country.”