Robertson ready for return to South Dakota

Section: 
Sports

Kara Robertson followed her heart to South Dakota.
"I just love the sport of volleyball," she said Thursday. "I love everything about it."
Robertson is back in Kincardine for the summer after having completed her first year at Dakota-Wesleyan University.
She is at the South Dakota school on a volleyball scholarship, her tuition covered by the Tigers Athletic Department.
It isn't the only reason Robertson selected the school. She refused offers from other American universities, choosing Dakota-Wesleyan because of its educational reputation. She is studying biochemistry at the school, which has been around since 1880. She has her sights set on becoming a doctor.

Education and volleyball come first for the 5"11 middle hitter.
"I pretty much quit everything else to focus (on volleyball and school) in about Grade 10," said Robertson, who is also a former provincial Highland Dance champion.

It was in that Grade 10 year she joined the Owen Sound Blizzard's competitive volleyball program. She played for the Blizzard for two seasons.

In her final year of high school, she was named KDSS' volleyball player of the year and earned her Masters Athletic Award. She also left the Blizzard to join the Waterloo Tigers.

It was a smart decision, as the Tigers advanced to the Canadian Championships in Abbotsford, BC.
"We actually won a gold medal at Nationals," she said Thursday afternoon at the Walker House, where she is working for the summer.

She is one of four full-time staff at the Walker House, and she works at the Kincardine hospital on the weekends.
"I used to work at Subway too, but it just became too much," she said. "My whole life is work and working out."
Each day after work she hits the weight room at the Davidson Centre to complete a routine drawn for her by the Dakota-Wesleyan volleyball program.

Her teammates should be doing the same, as the DWU Tigers had a less than stellar season on the court.
DWU had a 6-23 overall NAIA record and was 2-14 against teams within its division, the Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC).

"It wasn't the best season," she admitted. "Our coach took a new job, so we we didn't find a replacement until March. This season should be a lot better."

The season opens with a tournament in Nebraska August 29.
Last year the team held its own daily practices until a new coach was hired. Following that, the Tigers played in two tournaments with some success, but ended the season with seven consecutive losses.
She is looking for more floor time this season.
"I think I have to be more vocal on the court."

It was tougher for Robertson to adapt on the floor than off. Life in South Dakota really isn't that different from in Kincardine, she said.

"The school is in a town of 12,000 people. There are 800 students at our school, the town is pretty much just the school. It is pretty rural there, kind of like here."

Her love of volleyball was passed down from her mother and is shared by her younger sister Julia - this year's volleyballer of the year at KDSS. Julia was also a recipient of the Colin Good OFSAA Award.

Julia is currently in Calgary at CHAD Camp, which has put a delay on the sisters' plan to run a volleyball skills clinic in Kincardine.

"I had the idea last year but we just ran out of time," she said. "We were hoping to put something together this summer. But I'll be leaving not too soon after she returns. So maybe for Christmas time we can set something up."