Volleyballers take top honours

While it wasn’t necessarily the trophy she envisioned herself holding when the season began, Krista Kinsman was all smiles as she accepted the Dr. Dennis Kadatz Award as Dinos Female Athlete of the Year for 2001/02.

With the sting of a loss to the University of Manitoba Bisons in the national championship game last month still lingering, the award was a silver lining to a bittersweet, yet very successful season for Kinsman.

"It would have been nice to have won everything," she admitted. "This is good, it’s really nice, but it would have been so much better to have celebrated with my teammates in Laval."

The six-foot-one Calgary-native played her final game as a Dino, spending two seasons in the crimson and gold after three years as a volleyball and basketball standout at Oregon State University. Kinsman came home to Calgary last season for a number of reasons, but really felt at home on the court with her teammates this year.

"I had a great final year, the team unity we had this year was amazing, it was something we hadn’t had in a long time," she beamed when asked about the year’s highlights. "It made winning [the] Canada West [title] that much better–especially since we beat UBC to do it."

The William Aberhart High School product failed to capture the elusive national crown in her two-year tenure, despite making trips to the national championships in both seasons.

"That was one of this season’s biggest pitfalls, losing CIs," explained the all-star power hitter. "But it was still really exciting for this team to make it past the first round, especially after last year."

"I guess finishing second in all of Canada isn’t that bad," the nostalgically dejected Dino conceded. "A lot of people say ‘Oh, that’s so exciting’ when I tell them, so I guess we really need to look at it like that."

Kinsman’s award was one of many for the U of C’s vaunted volleyball program–one of the best in the country–and she looks to follow in the footsteps of former volleysaurs Jeremy Wilcox and Bill Byma and take her talents overseas to the European pro leagues.

"I’ll be playing with the national team this summer and then I’m looking to play in Switzerland. Well, there or anywhere else that offers me more money," laughed Kinsman. "I’m definitely going overseas though. It’s an unique experience and one I really want to enjoy."

Given what she has shown on the court for the past couple of years, the departing outside hitter should have a long career ahead of her.