ACAC features Rustlers WVB Avery Maginel

ACAC features Rustlers WVB Avery Maginel

Lakeland College Rustlers have produced some of the finest women's volleyball players in Canadian collegiate sport from coast-to-coast-to-coast.

The current roster showcases some outstanding talent.

Setter Rae Sigurdson became the all-time leader in assists in Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC) history earlier this season, passing Brirecrest Clippers legend Ashley Zacharias who had a 2,329 total.

Sigurdson, in her fifth and final year in Lloydminster, has totaled 2,665 assists to date.

Ahnika Kuse, also in her fifth season, sits at No. 3 on the ACAC career kill list with 1,061.

Clippers Samantha Zacharias is tops with 1,385.

Such talent has been integral for the two-time defending ACAC women's volleyball champions.

A team which has advanced to the national stage the last two years, spiking their way to gold medal status in 2017 and bronze last year.

Avery Maginel has also been part of this journey.

The 5-foot-9 Brandon, Manitoba, now into her fourth years of studies (University Transfer), is no slouch on the hardwood having accumulated to date 293 kills, 181 digs, 78 blocks and 41 service aces.

 Of her journey to date she states.

"I had no idea what the ACAC was before coming here and I had never even heard of the city before I came here. It is a great little city to live in. It has a strong community vibe and the school and fans are very supportive of the team and it is a great place to play."

"Being here the last four years has taught me a lot of things. It's allowed me to come to Lloyd and become independent from my family and it has taught me to work hard and not to be selfish and to show up and support your team. You come here not knowing anyone and you are put into a family culture."

Selected MVP in Grade 12 for her girls' volleyball team at Vincent Massey High School, Maginel has played right side hitter the last three years, transferring to middle this year where she has been thriving with a team high 25 blocks.

Thriving is also what the Rustlers did when they captured CCAA gold in 2017 in Victoria, British Columbia beating the host Camosun College 3-1.

"We had a pretty small team with only 11 players," recalls Maginel, 21.  "We really weren't supposed to win anything as we were still pretty young. Heading to nationals we were just the little small town school and no one expected anything from us.

"Playing the host team in the finals was cool. They had a packed gym but I think our fans were louder even though they had triple the fans there.

"When we came back we were escorted by cop cars and fans were waiting for us at the gym. It was incredible."

Wearing jersey No. 8, this writer wondered what well-known athlete wore such and perhaps Maginel had selected such in their honour?

Could it be former Los Angeles Lakers megastar Kobe Bryant? Or perhaps baseball ironman Cal Ripken Jr? Maybe hockey's Alexander Ovechkin?

"I always wear No. 8 because my birthday is August 8."

Story provided by ACAC Sports Writer Curtis J. Phillips