Yorkton’s own Kylie Chupa, a product of both the McSweeney’s Selects Volleyball team and the Sacred Heart Saints Volleyball programme, helped the SIAST Kelsey Amaruks win a treble this past volleyball season.
A treble is when a team wins three important trophies or championships, something that the Amaruks, thanks in large part to the effort put forth by Chupa, were able to do, taking home the Prairie Athletic Conference regular season title, the Provincial College Volleyball Championships and the Western Canadian College Open Championships this past season.
Championships that Chupa, the Amaruks stalwart power hitter, felt might not be attainable when the season began. “Honestly, I didn’t think we’d do as well as we did based on past results,” said the 5’6 Yorkton native. “I mean, I knew we’d do well in league play but I didn’t think we’d go on to win Westerns. I thought we’d finish top three but I wasn’t sure we’d be champions or not.”
However, as the season progressed and the Amaruks won set after set, match after match, Chupa said she felt the confidence building up and by the time Westerns rolled around she felt that her team would be able to not only compete, but quite possibly succeed. “We felt pretty confident going into the Westerns after winning Provincials and league even though we weren’t used to the facility we were playing in for Westerns (Saskatoon’s Soccer Centre),” noted Chupa, adding, “but we had the advantage of home games and the crowd was there and it made things easier for us.”
With a successful season behind them and the core of the team intact for next season, Chupa, who has one more year left before she graduates with a diploma in Recreation and Tourism Management, feels that her team in 2014 will pick up right where it left off. “We only have two people that graduate this year and basically we will have the same team next year so we have a great chance at repeating. We’ll know each other right off the bat and I think it will help us to build from where we left off to potentially succeed again.”
But has all the success gone to Chupa’s head? After all, with the success she has had it’d be easy for Chupa to forget where her volleyball career began. In short the answer is no, it did not. When asked who she felt helped her the most in her volleyball career the ever gracious Chupa was quick to give credit to a man that she believes had a big impact on her volleyball life. “Personally the coach that helped me develop my skills the most was Brent Brown, my coach with the McSweeney Selects in Yorkton. I think I got on his team in grade 10 and he helped with a lot of technique,” said Chupa, adding, “I can’t thank him (Brown) enough.”