Hawk to represent Canada

With his win in Volleyball Canada’s under-21 national beach volleyball selection tournament, second-year Sam Schachter, who plays on the men’s volleyball team, is the latest name to be added to the growing list of Hawks who have recently donned the red and white.

Schachter and teammate Steve Marshall of Trinity Western University will travel to Blackpool, England in late September to compete in the Fédération Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB) U21 World Championship.

“I feel very proud,” said Schachter. “It’s going to be a wonderful experience to be a part of Team Canada and I’m incredibly excited to get the chance to represent my country.”

This honour comes as the latest in a series of accomplishments that Schachter has enjoyed since becoming a Golden Hawk just one year ago.

In 2008/09, while playing an instrumental role in the Hawks’ first playoff berth in 10 years, the Richmond Hill native was named the men’s volleyball team’s rookie of the year. He also took home the Rich Newbrough rookie of the year award, which encompasses all of Laurier’s sports teams.

Schachter also received recognition outside of Laurier, winning the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) rookie of the year award, as well as earning a spot on both the OUA and Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) all rookie teams.

With his success in beach volleyball, it should come as no surprise that Schachter is such an elite indoor player, as the young star maintains that the beach game is much more demanding.

“In beach you need more overall all-around skills because really you need to be able to do absolutely everything,” said Schachter.

“In the indoor game, you can hide one of your skills that might be lacking, things like passing, setting or even hitting. But in beach you need to possess all of the skill sets and really be a well rounded player.”

Despite the obvious differences between the beach and indoor games, Schachter credits a large part of his recent international success to the experience he gained playing university volleyball.

“It’s a totally different game, but at the same time you learn a lot of things indoors that can help you on the beach,” said Schachter.

“The skill level of the university game is so different than club volleyball and that really improved my game tremendously. Plus having a great coach like Shayne White improved my game by leaps and bounds.”

Armed with just one year of OUA experience, Schachter now receives the rare honour of representing his country against international competition, something that doesn’t faze the 20-year-old.

“I think top four is a legitimate goal for us,” said Schachter of Team Canada’s chances in the tournament.

“We’re kind of young, I know I’m a little inexperienced, but I also know that we have the capabilities to really well. It’s really going to come down to us executing.”

The tournament begins September 16 and lasts until September 20.

Though Schachter will miss a portion of the Hawks’ pre-season training, he will be back in time to take part in the two exhibition games as well as the pre-season tournament scheduled prior to the
Hawks’ season opener against the Royal Military College Paladins.