By Larry Moko
St. Mary Crusaders volleyball star Julian Krygel is ready for the challenge.
The Grade 12 student will be entering a demanding Engineering program at Queen’s in Kingston next fall while playing Ontario men’s university volleyball as a rookie for the Gaels.
“Academically, I hope to do well in Engineering,” Krygel said. “It will be a challenge because I’m playing a varsity sport, but I think it’s achievable. I feel pretty confident.”
A 6-foot-7 middle, Krygel says he plans to develop enough both physically and technically on the court during his first two years to become a starter by year three and four.
He was recruited and recently signed to the deal by Queen’s head coach Brenda Willis, who also served as one of his former high performance camp coaches.
Krygel attended the OVA High-Performance centre in 2015 and 2016 and was selected to the Team Ontario Program in 2016.
“Julian first caught my attention when I coached him at the 16U HPC,” Willis told the Gaels website. “His coachability and his drive to succeed were instantly evident. It’s also been exciting watching his improvement throughout this season, and I expect he will contribute to our team’s success very early on. He’s an extremely physical player, and I love his aggressive style, which comes through in his serving, his attacking and his blocking.”
Krygel took up volleyball as a Grade 7 student at St. Bernadette School in Dundas. He then got involved in rep volleyball at Hamilton’s Mountain Athletic Club and for the past three years at Oakville’s Lakeside Volleyball Club.
At the high school level, Krygel showed his versatility and helped Crusader teams to one junior and one senior volleyball championship.
“In high school, I was played wherever I was needed,” Krygel said. “Last year I was a setter. I’m going to university as a middle.”
Unfortunately, this past season Krygel was sidelined early during a league semifinal loss against the Cathedral Gaels because of an ankle injury.
“That one still stings a little,” Crusaders coach Laura Stothart said of what Krygel’s injury and its timing meant to St. Mary’s possible title hopes.
According to Stothart, Krygel is a very skilled and knowledgeable volleyball player.
“It’s really evident in how he plays and how he interacts with other players,” she said. “He’s willing to give them advice and help develop their skills, as well. He brings that to any team he is part of.
“Julian has a lot of talent and heart. He trains really hard and manages multiple responsibilities like school and his club team.”
This weekend, with Lakeside, Krygel will travel to Waterloo and take part in Ontario Volleyball Association championships. Then, in May, Lakeside flies to Saskatoon for nationals.
Source: Marnie Jadon