Travis Maier may not have seen many on-court minutes with the Lakeland College Rustlers men's volleyball team this season, but that doesn't mean his contribution can be underestimated.
"Tay (Rustlers coach Taylor Dyer) told me earlier in the year that he needed a serving sub and I just guess I had confidence enough to go back there in the clutch moments and put the serve in," said Maier, who has seen court time in 13 games with the Rustlers this year. "That's my part of the team and I try and do it."
Maier saw his latest action in the first set of the Rustlers 17-25, 20-24, 25-21, 20-25 loss to the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) Ooks (15-5) at the Lakeland College gym on Friday.
The game marked the third straight that the Paradise Hill product has seen time on court, but his presence on the sideline could also be appreciated considering the continuous barbs he threw at the opposition.
"He's a leader on serve/receive on the other side when they're returning and he brings a ton of energy off the bench," said Dyer.
"He does a very good job on the bench with his energy as well. He's a great kid to be around. His ability to come into a match and do a job (is) why he's there and he's done good things for us."
Dyer said Maier's main job when on the sideline involves tracking the plays that the team is trying to implement, while also pointing different things out to players coming off the court.
He said picking guys up in down times through his enthusiasm and energy is also an important part of his game.
The rookie outside red shirted for the Rustlers during his first year at Lakeland College last season, noted Dyer, with the experience training with the team helping him acclimatize to the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference.
"In this game that's absolutely needed to be a successful player at this level," he said.
"He's probably not where he wants to be quite yet, but I think getting into a match and dressing and travelling is an important piece for him too."
Maier said the ability to train with the Rustlers last year and see on-court action this season has helped him grow his game.
He said the Rustlers (5-15) haven't enjoyed the best campaign win-loss wise, but everyone's is still determined to become the best they can be.
"The focus is to just keep on improving and don't think that the year's over just because the playoffs aren't in the picture anymore," said Maier.
"We got to keep having fun out there."
Story & photo provided by: Jamie Harkins, Meridian Booster