On a team with plenty of newcomers looking to earn their spot on the court, Victoria Eadle stands out for her determination and natural athleticism. A first year student in the Recreation and Sport Studies program, she comes to UNB following a successful career at the high school and provincial levels.
Eadle is relatively new to the sport of volleyball, but has quickly gained a reputation as one of the province’s most promising athletes. Just last month, she was named Volleyball New Brunswick’s female Player of the Year.
“This is only my seventh year playing volleyball,” explained Eadle, an outside hitter. “I had played basketball all through middle school, and then in the sixth grade my gym teacher suggested that I try other sports. At that point I tried volleyball and really fell in love with the sport.”
Eadle went on to excel both at the high school and provincial level, opting to make the trek to Fredericton each week from her hometown of Moncton, in order to compete at a higher level.
“I had played for the Moncton Roofers provincial team for several years, and then when I was in Grade 9 I made the decision to travel to Fredericton to play for the Reds Volleyball Club, which was a great experience and helped with my development as a player.”
Eadle played for her high school, Harrison Trimble, where she led the team to the provincial finals the past two years. In addition to being a leader on her high school team, she also played four summers with Volleyball New Brunswick — including playing on the 2013 Canada Games team, where she was a key contributor for Team NB.
Eadle cites her experiences playing for the Fredericton club team as one of the deciding factors when it came to choosing a university.
“After traveling up here for so many years, I was definitely used to the city and the facilities so it was kind of the perfect fit for me,” she said. “I also love the campus, and I knew that the faculty of kinesiology was growing and developing here, so I could succeed academically as well.”
While many athletes initially struggle to make the jump from high school to the university level of play, Eadle has been taking it all in stride.
“It’s been very hectic during the preseason what with traveling while also starting classes,” said Eadle. “However, it’s been going pretty great in terms of getting settled and getting on the court finally.”
She stated that although high school volleyball has a much more relaxed atmosphere, she thrives in the competitive environment that comes with playing against bigger and better players in Atlantic University Sport.
Her debut as a V-Red has not been without its challenges, though. A rolled ankle during practice left her sidelined during the first weekend of preseason play. Determined to rejoin her team on the court, Eadle recuperated in record time and has been practicing ever since.
When asked about her aspirations for the season, Eadle’s desire to win shone through yet again.
“We hope to win the AUS championship this year. We have a young team but we’re very strong given our age, so I think we have a very good chance at competing and doing well in our league.”
Head coach Jilliane Goulet also believes that Eadle has the skill set necessary to succeed at the CIS level of play.
“We have high hopes for Victoria here at UNB,” said Goulet. “She hasn’t shown a whole lot here due to her sprained ankle in the preseason, but every chance she gets to go onto the court she is showing more and more of what she’s capable of.
“Victoria’s a very special player, both in her work ethic and her ability to physically play. She has a lot of potential and we’re very excited to see how she progresses in the weeks, months and years to come.”