This is what we call the Moppett show

By Mike Attersall

With the season over, it will be hard to forget what a season this fourth-year Dino has had.

For Amanda Moppett, it was a season of highs and lows, and at the same time it was a year of recognition. Though it may seem like it was a year of nominations for this superstar, Moppett has nothing to be ashamed of.

Moppett was not like most university players. She was not one of those players who played on a provincial team before getting noticed, but rather on Co-Rec teams full of 40-year-old men, and in the sand–where she honed her skills and caught the eye of an up-and-coming coach by the name of Kevin Boyles.

It was Boyles who decided to take a chance on this virtual nobody–and lucky for him and the U of C he did.

Moppett would not disappoint. She came in without redshirting and proved that this was where she belonged. In her first year as a Dino, Moppett was named to the Canada West and CIS All-Rookie teams. She also racked up the awards including Canada West Rookie of the Year, CIS Rookie of the Year and the U of C’s Rookie of the Year.

As if her first year was not impressive enough, Moppett continued to show that this was her game. In her first three years as a Dino she was named a Canada West Second Team All-Star. Finally this year she was named a CIS First Team All-Star.

To top off her amazing 2002/03 season, Moppett was also named Canada West Female Athlete of the Year, and nominated for the TSN Therèse Quigley Award, for CIS Athlete of the Year, and for the Dr. Dennis Kadatz Athlete of the Year Award for the U of C. Unfortunately for her, she only won a U of C Award of Merit.

Moppett has also been part of a team that has two Canada West titles, and a silver medal at Nationals.

As an athlete and a student Moppett still finds time to put in some volunteer work. She has been a mentor, worked with team programs and even helped out with athletics here on campus.

Even with all the recognition and accolades, it will be the memories of her years as a Dino that are worth more than anything else.

“This whole year has been so memorable; we have such an interesting group of girls on the team, basically they are all a bunch of goofballs, including the coaches.

“The one thing I will never forget is the Saturday theme practices. We would have themes like funky spandex, crazy uniforms, side ponytails, bum huggers–well, that was just me and I think the girls saw more than they wanted too–and even our coaches got dressed up on tight uniform day.

“One of the times was especially fun because the Manitoba team came out to practice right after us. Their coach and work ethic is so strict and here we were having a blast with our coaches,” added Moppett.

As for some of her most memorable moments on the court–her most recent would have to be one from Nationals this year in Laval.

“We were playing U of T and Tara Deeks and I had both dove for a ball during an intense rally. Tara got a piece of it first and I was already on the ground but I managed to spin around kick it up with my foot, and we won the point.”

But the hard court is not the sole passion for this Kinesiology major. Her passion for volleyball extends to the sand, a place where she has seen much success in recent years.

Just two years ago Moppett went pro with former Dino Alisa Marriott. While playing AAA Beach, Moppett saw success both provincially and nationally, and even had a chance to play at the F.I.S.U. World University Beach Volleyball Championships down in Guadeloupe in the French West Indies.

“Playing in the F.I.S.U. has so far been the highlight of my beach volleyball career,” said Moppett.”It’s was also fun playing on the Canadian tour. I have to thank my NoBeach sponsors for that,” added Moppett.

Moppett is now ranked 13th in the country and is faced with a tough decision of missing out on another chance at beach nationals (where she placed fifth last year) or the chance to play on the Canadian National B-team (hard court).

Although Moppett has had the invite to play for Canada’s National A-team, she has chosen to pass on the oppertunity.

“Playing for the A-team would have meant missing out on school next year, and seeing that it’s my final year here I don’t want to miss out on anything,” she said.

With one year left in her university career a National Title is one of the few big achievements that this athlete has yet to to taste. And if Moppett keeps improving her game it will be hard to keep calling her a nominee.