If all goes as planned for Katy Klomps, a trip to Winnipeg later this month will mark the beginning of a long and prosperous association with the national women’s volleyball program.
The 19-year-old middle blocker for UBC Okanagan Heat will audition her skills at the Canadian senior team’s open selection camp, May 20 to 25 at the University of Manitoba.
At the very least, Klomps will have an opportunity to train for six days alongside some of the country’s best volleyball talent.
If the 6-foot-1 product of Surrey is invited to remain in Winnipeg longer, it would mean an invaluable month of training with the national program.
After a strong first season of Canada West competition, Klomps sees the camp as another important step in her development.
“This past year, I really enjoyed competing against the older level athletes and it was a big challenge, so I thought this was an opportunity to get a really high level of training in against the top athletes in the country,” said Klomps. “I’ll get to see where I stand and just challenge myself and that way, throughout the summer, I’ll know what I have to work on and how I have to train to compete at that level.”
A former UBC Okanagan player from Kelowna, Marisa Field, went through the same process several years ago, and is now a prominent member of the Canadian women’s senior team.
Heat head coach Steve Manuel said Klomps has the potential to follow the same path as Field.
“It’s Katy’s first opportunity to show what she can do on the national stage,” said Heat head coach Steve Manuel. “I’d say she’s a good up-and-comer that the national team will want to keep their eye on. I like her chances.”
Klomps, a graduate of Surrey Christian is coming off an impressive first season of CIS competition. One of the top rookies in Canada West in 2011-12, Klomps was fifth in the conference in blocks and 13th in hitting percentage.
“She’s a big, strong, physcial athlete and a very good jumper,” Manuel said of Klomps’ skill set. “She’s young and she’s really just getting started. Katy is just beginning to scrape the tip of the iceberg in her development.”
As a long-term goal, Klomps would like nothing more than to one day play internationally for Team Canada.
But for now, the powerful middle blocker isn’t looking past her next training session or next practice.
“Who wouldn’t want to play with the national team, right ? That’s a dream of mine,” she said. “But right now I’m just kind of taking it one step at a time, this is my first national experience, so I’m just going to go out there, see how it goes and do my best. Maybe down the road it’ll work out…we’ll see.”
Regardless of how her future with the national program unfolds, Klomps knows precisely where she’ll be next fall as the UBC Okanagan Heat women enter their second season of CIS competition.
After a promising inaugural season which saw the Heat go 6-14 and narrowly miss a playoff berth, Klomps is excited about her team’s prospects in 2012-13.
“Next season we know what we’re getting into, I think we’re going to be more calm and relaxed with every situation, I think we’ll be ready for it,” Klomps said. “This past season we were so close to making the playoffs and we did really well. Next season, I believe we’ll be even better.”
The Heat will open the 2012-13 Canada West volleyball campaign Oct. 26 and 27 against Thompson Rivers University.