Chemainus volleyball player Douglas Groenendijk is headed to Kamloops this fall to play for the Thompson Rivers University (TRU) WolfPack.
Groenendijk is the WolfPack and head coach Pat Hennelly’s fifth recruit commitment for the fall of 2014 and fourth from the Team BC program.
Groenendijk recently signed a letter of intent to join the WolfPack, along with Team BC teammates Denham O’Reilly of Langley and Issac Smit and Cole Hanson of Kelowna. All four were part of the Team BC U17 program, which won a gold medal at the 2013 Western Elite Tournament.
“The WolfPack are a great volleyball team, and I think I can learn a lot from Pat,” Groenendijk said about deciding to go to Thompson Rivers, where he will take Bachelor of Arts courses. “I spent some time in Kamloops last summer with Team BC. That experience gave me some great insight into what the campus is like.”
The 6’4” Groenendijk hasn’t played competitive volleyball very long. His main sport used to be basketball.
Groenendijk does come from a volleyball family though. His brother Cameron finished his fourth season with Redeemer Christian University (CCAA) in Ontario, while one of his sisters, Megan, has played two years with Vancouver Island University (PACWEST).
“They did give me some good points to consider before making my decision on where to go to school,” he added. “The biggest influence was to consider the courses I wanted to take along with top-caliber volleyball.”
Groenendijk attends Duncan Christian School (DCS) and played two years for the Nanaimo Volleyball Club before moving to a Victoria club this season. His DCS Chargers finished fourth at the BC “A” provincial championships.
Groenendijk, like the other Team BC recruits, spent the summer of 2013 under the direction of current WolfPack libero Matt Krueger, a fourth-year student from Abbotsford.
“He really developed my game,” Groenendijk stated. “It will be strange to consider him my teammate rather than my coach when I come in this fall. He did have some influence on me deciding to come here.”
Krueger has many positive things to say about his new teammate.
“Doug is physical,” he said. “He is a big kid with a big jump. He was a first-year member of Team BC and is very eager to learn. That will take him far in volleyball. His growth this past summer was incredible. No matter what was asked of Doug, he will put everything he has into it.”
Peter Day coached Groenendijk in high school the past two seasons and one year with the Nanaimo club team.
“He is a smart player with excellent athleticism and good instincts,” he said. “He is hard working and leads by example on and off the court. Douglas’ athleticism and leaping ability are his keys to success. His effort is unmatched in players that I have had at this school, and that can only benefit him in the future at TRU.”
WolfPack head coach Pat Hennelly states: “Douglas has a lot of potential on the court. He has good vertical and a long reach. When I look at the Team BC roster and look for guys [with a vertical] over 11 feet, I noticed Doug touched 11’5” this past summer. That is slightly higher than both Brad [Gunter of Courtenay, the 2013-14 CIS Player of the Year] and Gord [Perrin of Creston, a current Canada senior men’s volleyball player and pro in Turkey] at that age. Douglas will increase his vertical as he gets older and works out in our program.
“He has a great work ethic like Matt says and will fit in great with our incoming recruits and current players. Douglas is another small-town guy. I like the work ethic and attitude that often comes from small-town players.”