SNV’s Got Talent!

SNV is proud to have 5 of our representative players selected in teams for AVL in 2017!
We are thrilled to see our players excelling and playing volleyball at this elite level and have asked some of them a few questions to get to know what makes an AVL player. Check out the AVL draw and come along to a game to show them your support!

Gemma Kerrison – UTSSU

A bit About You:
I am 22 years old and started playing volleyball at 13 through Santa Sabina College. I have been coaching volleyball since I was 16, and have continued some sort of playing and coaching since that time. I am currently in my 10th SVL season, have officially competed in all age groups and divisions! I have had the privilege to play in NSW State Teams since I was 16, and when I was too old to play indoor as Junior, I moved to Beach Volleyball and have played in a few national tournaments over the years. In 2017 I was a member of the SNV Squirrels playing in Honours Women.

Position:
Libero and sometimes serving sub.

What do you love about volleyball:
I enjoy the challenge of trying to fix your errors, and trying to minimise making the same mistakes consistently.  I think that learning to not be scared of the opposition and learning to embrace a challenging team who are strong at serving and hitting, is something which is a consistent challenge regardless of what age or skill level you are playing at. Although it has taken many years, it is this mental aspect of the game I love the most. I also love beach volleyball because I get the opportunity to perform a range of skills. In particularly, I love serving in the wind which I find is equally the most challenging and satisfying part of the game.

Life Outside Volleyball:
When I’m not playing, coaching or watching volleyball, I am figuring out how to get a job with my recently completed Psychology degree. I am also a swimming coach and behaviour therapist for children with Autism. In my limited spare time, I read as many Brandon Sanderson books as possible and watch Game of Thrones.

 

Simona Sekulova – Sydney Amazons

A bit about you:
My name is Simona and I started playing volleyball when I was 13 years old. I have played volleyball in many countries and I’ve gained an amazing experience. My highest accomplishment is earning a full scholarship to play volleyball and study in the USA. It’s my first season playing in Australia and I’m happy to have joined SNV Squirrels. Also, I will be playing AVL with Sydney Amazons.

Position:
Outside Hitter

What do you love about volleyball? 
I’m really passionate about volleyball. It’s a team sport, requires constant communication, you build leadership skills, you have to be very organized and motivated. The skills that volleyball allows you to learn, cannot be taught in the classroom.

Life Outside of Volleyball? 
I’m a full time employee at Ernst & Young. In my free time, I enjoy exploring Sydney and hanging out with friends.

 

Alec Walker – Sydney Warriors
(photo credit – Gary Peacock)

How did you discover volleyball?
I was first intrigued by this sport aged 8, watching my uncle compete in the sitting variant in the 2000 Paralympics. My inner entrepreneur pondered some rule tweaks to allow for standing and jumping. Alas, I was beaten to the punch by 105 years.
A substantial appeal to the game is the verbal aspect; a promising cricketer in my teenage years, a back injury cruelled my attempts at certain representative honours. It was pleasing to know this particular facet of the sport was not lost & could be applied to volleyball.

How is it that you have come to play AVL?
Lying about my height. So far in my career I have gotten away with claiming to “nudge 6’3”” when I’m a whisker over 6’. My claim to being Sam Walker’s promising younger brother (I am 3 years his senior and unrelated) has held me in good stead too.
Additionally my social team, Shabangabang VC, has been largely responsible for my meteoric rise in self-belief. From its humble beginnings, the team’s development has largely mirrored my own. The unbridled elation felt from being working cogs in a well-oiled machine serves as a reminder of why we play this sport. For mine, Shabangabang is volleyball, & further, volleyball is Shabangabang.

What is your crowning volleyball achievement to date?
As stand-in captain for the MH SNV campaign, we have finished the regular season equal 2nd on competition points. A podium finish for SVL this year could trigger an early retirement.

Which rounds are you most looking forward to this year?
For all their dominance in recent AVL history, QLD Pirates have largely been a one man team. With Shane Alexander out of the fold this year, we sense a real chance to announce ourselves on the national stage. Further, the Warriors v UTSSU clash scheduled for Sunday 3rd December in Melbourne (following the bronze medal match) should be a wonderful advertisement of power-hitting & a testament to the growth & development of volleyball in NSW.

 

Laura Reeks – UTSSU
(photo credit – Pierre Thorand)

A bit about you:
I started playing in 2008 (14 years old) at Blayney High School after being selected into the NSW U15 girls team. Since then, I have got involved in volleyball as much as possible and still going strong 10 years down the track including being a current member of the SNV Squirrels playing Women’s Honours.

Age: 23

Position:
I have had a wide array of experience in every position (except libero), originally a middle for school, developing mainly as a passer/hitter and universal in following teams. My 2 recent seasons with SNV Squirrels has seen me predominantly play setter/universal, but I will swap back to passer/hitter/uni for the upcoming AVL season with UTSSU.

What do you love about volleyball?
I love the inclusiveness of the sport that allows so many people to get involved, including (but not restricted to) playing, officiating, coaching, and supporting.
I also enjoy the dynamic conditions of the game in that no two games are the same and how both physical and mental components have equal importance in being successful.

Life outside volleyball:
I have recently graduated from a Bachelor of Exercise Science (Rehabilitation), as well as a Diploma of Remedial Massage. However, the majority of my time is consumed by being involved in volleyball including SNV trainings, SVL (playing and officiating), A2 social, UTSSU trainings, gym programs as well as coaching NSW U17 Navy girls and Sporting Schools programs.