With an impressive pedigree at the club and provincial level, one that will only continue to grow in the coming months, middle Ellie Hatashita will inject quality into Tim Louks’ Marauders roster in 2019.
The Ottawa product and multiple-time Team Ontario member became the third member of McMaster’s recruiting class for 2019 on Thursday, joining setter Nikolina Malic and defensive specialist Christina Stratford.
A member of Ottawa’s Maverick Volleyball Club, Hatashita featured for Team Ontario’s top-end ‘Black’ program in 2018, and has been named to the Team Ontario Elite roster in 2019 that will travel to France for a training camp over March break.
“We’re very excited to add another Maverick to the program,” says Louks. “They come to the next level very well trained and with a high expectation of success.”
“Ellie arrives with a great comfort zone in the middle and with a high volleyball IQ in that area. But she brings other skills to the game that many may not expect for a big, strong player of her type.”
Long aware of the Marauders program as a standard-bearer in Ontario, Hatashita was sold on a varsity career in Hamilton after a visit to campus in 2018.
“McMaster has a great volleyball program and I have always been interested in being a part of it,” says the middle. “Living in Ottawa, I didn’t have much direct exposure to it, but upon visiting, I believe that the atmosphere and coaching at McMaster will create an environment where I can thrive.”
Unsure at this early juncture which particular academic direction she will follow at Mac in the fall, Hatashita did indicate that the school’s academic standing played a part in her decision to relocate to Hamilton.
A long-time member of the provincial program, the middle helped Team Ontario to silver at the Indoor Canada Cup in August, and competed in Division I, Tier II at both the Ontario Championships and Volleyball Canada National Championships as a member of the Maverick club.
Hatashita points to her mentality and love of the game as defining features of her brand of volleyball.
“I’m always looking to improve, learn and become a better teammate,” says the middle. “I believe that a strength of mine is my willingness to take risks and step outside of my comfort zone.”
Louks believes that his newest addition will be helped in her transition to the University game by her continued involvement with the provincial setup, and is excited by the Marauders possibilities through the middle with Hatashita in the mix.
“Ellie is well suited to the game at this level, coming off of Team Ontario exposure over the past few summers, and with the Team Ontario Elite program ahead of her in the next few months,” says Louks.
“We just got better in the middle immediately with her addition.”
Source: Fraser Caldwell