Wendel ready for next level

Katie Brickman
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Caronport product signs with Trinity Western University

Elly Wendel is hoping for an easy transition next fall.

Elly Wendel of the Briercrest Clippers dives for a dig in Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC) action this season. Wendel will be heading to Trinity Western University in the fall after signing with the CIS school in December.

After two years of playing volleyball with the Briercrest Clippers, the Caronport product will be heading west to play for Trinity Western University (TWU) in Langley, B.C.

Wendel currently sits fifth in the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC) in kills with 3.3 per set and leads the league in aces with 29, for an average of 0.7 per set.

She signed with the TWU Spartans volleyball team just before the Christmas break and will head there next fall to play at the Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) level.

“I was interested in playing at a higher level of volleyball and they have a really developed program,” said Wendel.

This was a combined effort in getting Wendel signed with the Spartans. She has wanted to go since she was in high school, but she tore her ACL and missed her whole Grade 12 year.

“I thought Briercrest would be a good option to get back into things because I didn’t play for a year,” explained Wendel. “I thought it would be best to play one year before trying to go to Trinity.”

She called the Spartans’ coach, Ryan Hofer, a year ago around Christmas to see if she had options with TWU, but they had already finished their recruitment.

“I decided to come back for another year at Briercrest and since then we have been in continual contact. We officially signed in December. It has been a long time coming,” Wendel said.

With two years of ACAC experience and the desire for more, Wendel feels ready to move forward to the next level in sport as well as personally.

“I really like my family and it is hard to leave, but I think it is time to go do some more growing up and leave (home). I am feeling really good about it and I think the timing is good,” she said.

The process in her studies will be an easy transition.

“They also have biblical studies, which is what I am studying at Briercrest. Everything that I’ve taken at Briercrest will transfer over there,” she said.

The program at Briercrest has allowed Wendel to grow and develop into a strong player, which she thinks will help her in the next stage.

“The main thing is just getting lots of playing time and playing experience, which is really important to me. I was able to start last year and this year and our team has done really well,” she said. “When you have more playing time, you have more of a leadership role. Getting all of that developed was good and having that pressure was good too.”

The Clippers head coach, Nolan Weinmaster has been able to watch Wendel progress as a leader and dominant player in the ACAC.

“It will be sad to see her leave the program, but I think it is a good step for her at the same time. This is something that she has wanted to do since coming in and our goal was to help her become the best player that she could be in her two seasons with us,” said Weinmaster.

“It has been great to see her progress. She has put in a lot of hard work in these two seasons on the court and in the weight room. I think she is going to do really well and we are excited for her to get that opportunity.”

Wendel pushed to get the deal signed with the Spartans as quickly as possible so she could focus on the task at hand, a strong second half with the Clippers.

“I just wanted it over with. It was definitely a relief, especially because it has been such a long process,” said Wendel. “I am really excited, but nervous too because it is so unknown to me.”

The Clippers currently sit 11th in the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association rankings.

Follow me on Twitter @katiebrickman.

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