By Fraser Caldwell
Mining one of Canada’s top club programs for talent yet again, Tim Louks and the Marauders have added Halton Hurricanes left side Marina Vesovic for 2019 and beyond.
The Burlington, Ont. native became the sixth and final member of McMaster’s recruiting class, joining Hurricanes teammate Ana Strbac, middle Ellie Hatashita, setter Nikolina Malic, defensive specialist Christina Stratford and middle Paige Vrolyk.
“It’s a good addition to the room,” says Louks of his newest recruit. “There’s a lot left out there to be concluded. Like most, she’s not strong enough yet, but there’s a willingness to improve and she fits the mould as an outside hitter and, we’d like to think, a receiving outside hitter. With some strength and speed, and with being injected into this environment, there could be some cool things to come.”
“I think there’s a fit there. Now, let the games begin.”
A two-time national (2016 and 2017) and provincial (2015 and 2016) champion, Vesovic and her Hurricanes teammates have advanced to the Ontario championship Tier I title match for four consecutive seasons. She concluded her club career by being named as an all-star of the Ontario Volleyball Assocation (OVA) Grand Prix.
Her experience of both the team itself and the structure surrounding it was key in convincing Vesovic that the McMaster and the Marauders are the right landing spots for her.
“After watching a game at McMaster, I really appreciated the passion that the athletes played with,” says Vesovic. “The whole atmosphere was very intense and fun.”
“In visiting the campus and meeting many people around the Department, I loved how much support McMaster offered.”
Academically, her interest in kinesiology made McMaster a logical destination for Vesovic. She easily cleared the entrance requirements, and when the athletic fit was found with Louks’ program, the hitter’s varsity future was cemented.
When asked what sort of character Marauders fans should expect to debut on campus in the fall, Vesovic points to her ability to flip the switch from the fun-loving and approachable person she strives to be off-court to the driven and competitive one she is while playing.
Making those two personas work in tandem will rely on her ability to adapt to the dueling workloads of school and volleyball, which is her first priority upon arriving at McMaster.
“The goal for first year is to find a balance between doing well in school and constantly improving at volleyball,” says Vesovic. “Finding this balance will make me work on my time management skills, which are necessary for any student-athlete.”