Spartans setter makes national cut

Trinity Western University women’s volleyball libero Kristen Moncks was officially named to Canada’s national B team on May 29.

From Standard, Alta., Moncks was among the nine athletes who were selected from the roughly 50 after a tryout was held in late May at the University of Manitoba’s Investor’s Group Athletic Centre.

This marks the first time Moncks has been named to a national team.

“It’s pretty unreal to be named to a national side,” said Moncks, who will be entering her fifth year of CIS eligibility this fall. “This really gives me a chance to work on the technical side of the game that sometimes we aren’t able to cover as much during the season. With the chance to train every day, I’ll get those extra reps to work on the things I need to improve on.”

The B squad will train this week with the A team, which features former TWU setter Kelci French and then, after a team the University of Central Florida arrived on May 31, they separated into two groups.

The B team trains in Winnipeg until June 21.

“It’s awesome training with these girls because they’ve been here for a few years now., and I can learn from those girls just by watching how they train and what they do,” Moncks said.

This past season with TWU, Moncks finished with a team-high 3.37 digs per set, which was good for sixth in Canada West.

She helped the Spartans to a Canada West bronze medal and a fifth place finish at the CIS national championship.

“After last year’s tryout with the national team, Kristen was given a few things she needed to work on and she made improvements in a lot of those areas, so [the Canadian coaching staff] was very impressed with her,” said Spartans coach Ryan Hofer. “This past year we really saw her mature and become a leader in the back court. Her skills have continually gotten better and better. Her defence, her passing and her second ball setting have all improved and being named to the national team is her reward for the hard work she has put in.”

In 2012/13, her first year with TWU after transferring from Medicine Hat College, Moncks was named Canada West Libero of the Year and finished the season with 3.26 digs per set, which had her second in the conference.

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