TIJUANA, MEXICO For the second straight year, Brad Gunter of the Thompson Rivers University WolfPack will be representing his country and his CIS team on the international stage.
The G.P. Vanier grad was chosen to be a member of Volleyball Canada Senior Men’s “B” team. Canada begins play on Saturday (Aug. 9) at the Pan-Am Cup at Tijuana, Mexico.
“Training camp was very intense,” stated Gunter, the CIS and Canada West Player of the Year for 2013-14 of the 12-week training period. “I have been learning a ton from everyone. The rest of the squad are all older than me.”
The native of Courtenay feels he has been holding his own during the training camp and feels confident going into the Pan-Am Cup. “I still need some more experience at this level of game play,” he adds.
Georges Laplante is Canada’s head coach for this program. He praises Gunter’s work ethic and athleticism. “Brad has been one of the best players in training. He will be working with Dallas Soonias on the right side. Dallas has a lot of international experience and he should help Brad understand the demand at this level.”
Gunter says the team’s chances of coming home with a medal should be good. “We look strong. The goal obviously is to win but there are only three other teams that can compete with us so theoretically, we stand a good chance.”
Lapante has no doubt that Gunter will return to the CIS and the WolfPack a better player. “Working with the best players in the country will certainly help him. I am sure his fitness level will be much higher and I am sure as he returns to TRU his own expectations will be higher.”
“I have improved so many of my skills so far this summer,” Gunter adds.
The Canadian team is made up of a number of players who played with the Senior “A” team in World League along with a number of players who trained at the National Full-time Training Centre in Gatineau, Que.
Gunter and Nicholas Del Bianco (Surrey, B.C.) of the Trinity Western University Spartans are the only current CIS players on Team Canada.
Gunter and the WolfPack kick off their 2014-15 Canada West season Oct. 10 at Trinity Western. Their home opener is Oct. 24 against the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds.
SIDE OUTS Canada’s best finish at the Pan-Am Cup was a gold medal in 2008 when the event was held in Winnipeg … Canada’s last medal was a bronze in 2011 … Team USA leads the medal haul with six medals (five gold) … other teams competing at this year’s tournament are Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and Cuba … the tournament wraps up Aug. 17 …
– TRU WolfPack