Nick Taylor enjoyed a break from the academics and daily grind of life as a college student, but he’s excited to be back on the hardwood with his Trent University teammates again.
Taylor, an 18-year-old Corner Brook native, is back on the volleyball court this week as Trent University opened training camp for the 2018-2019 Ontario University Association men’s volleyball season.
A star at the high school level with the Corner Brook Titans growing up in Corner Brook, the six-foot-two Taylor joined Trent University last season when his plan to suit up with the Memorial Sea-Hawks didn’t materialize after the program was cancelled at MUN a few months before the season was about to start.
“It feels great. I definitely miss it throughout the summer not being able to play with the guys,” Taylor said.
Taylor expects to be better in his sophomore season after using his first season to adjust to life after high school in an environment that is hectic to say the least with his honours biology program keeping him busy when he’s not playing the game or spending hours in the gym making sure he’s ready for some top-level volleyball.
He didn’t know what to expect in his first year, but he knew his new digs would mean some type of learning curve where he would have to keep up with a quicker pace against bigger and seasoned players from around the country.
He had to learn how to make quicker decisions and get a better read on the ball and he figures he did that pretty well before his first season finished so he’s excited about seeing how he holds up with one year punched.
“You need to learn it quick or you’re going to be dead in the water,” Taylor said Wednesday afternoon from Trent University.
He learned a lot about himself and the game through his coaches and teammates in one season. He believes he’s a better player and has matured as a person from having to fend for himself as he writes the next chapter of his life.
His team finished up its inaugural OUA season with an 0-18 record and that’s not what any competitive athlete wants to see, but Taylor figures the pain of going all season without a win could prove to be a motivating factor in moving forward as the guys learned a lot from what unfolded on the floor one year ago.
On too many occasions last season, he said, the team was playing well and had a lead in sets, but let it slip away as if they didn’t know what was needed to put a stop to it and it cost them dearly in the standings.
“We’re starting to learn how to finish sets now and finish matches so we’re goint to use that to help us get the wins,” he said.
He’s trying to get settled in for another season where he expects the team will battle hard in the early going to get the first W out of the way. He said it has slowly become easier to be effective in time management and that’s half the battle for him.
time to juggle academics with athletics and that’s half the battle as far he’s concerned.
“It’s crucial if you’re going to play a varsity sport,” he said.