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Haley Roe proves versatile for young Cougars squad

Despite being recruited as a middle, Haley Roe has found her niche with the Mount Royal University Cougars – on the right and left sides of the court.
Outside hitter
Criminal justice major Haley Roe, of Airdrie, is entering her second year of U SPORTS volleyball with the Mount Royal University Cougars.

Despite being recruited as a middle, Haley Roe has found her niche with the Mount Royal University Cougars – on the right and left sides of the court. The 18-year-old Airdrie native is heading into her second year of U SPORTS competition with the MRU Cougars women’s volleyball team, and feels playing multiple positions with the team has benefited her growth as a player. “I’ve developed way more as an outside, in terms of passing and defence,” she said, adding she’s also learned “a lot more [about] teamwork and being committed to something bigger than just myself.” Roe’s head coach, Sandra Lamb, said Roe’s ability to play multiple positions has been one of her strongest assets to the Cougars. “She’s a versatile player – we have her working on the left side and on the right side, right now,” she said. “She’s had a big learning curve and has done well with that.” Though Roe is only 5’10", Lamb said she makes up for a lack of height with her tenacious play. “She’s an undersized player, but she plays with a big heart and she’s not afraid to take some good cuts and good swings,” Lamb said. “That’s the type of player we rally around. “[Roe] is a person we can count on to come off the bench or start. She’s able to make sure we’re staying on the right track, offensively, a lot of the time.” Like most university athletes, Roe said her confidence is higher heading into her second year compared to her first. “[I’m] definitely more comfortable now, knowing the team and the whole routine,” said Roe, who played for the Bert Church Chargers senior girls' volleyball team for three years before suiting up for the Cougars. Despite entering university at just 17 years old, Roe still made the court plenty of times for the Cougars in her first year. The criminal justice major logged playing time in 18 of the Cougars’ 24 matches in the Canada West conference in 2017-18, racking up 24 kills, 25 digs, five assists and 11 assisted blocks. With a year of U SPORTS experience under her belt, she said, increased time on the court will be a personal goal this season. “I thought last year, as a first-year, I had a lot of playing time,” she said. “Definitely this year, I’m looking at getting in there a lot more.” Roe and the rest of the MRU squad kicked off the 2018-19 regular season Oct. 20 and 21 with a home series against the University of Manitoba Bisons. The Cougars won in four sets and five sets, respectively. The Airdrie native predicts the Cougars will enjoy a solid season, after only posting an 11-13 record in 2017-18. “I think we’re going to do pretty well,” she said. “We’re definitely a young team, so we have a lot of developing to do, but I definitely think we’re shaping up to be pretty good – hopefully, we’ll do better than last year.” For match schedules and other information on the Cougars, visit mrucougars.com

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