Hard work pays dividends for Cats Malin Chernoff
Following a year of planning, the 2012 B.C. High School A Girl’s Volleyball Championships are right only a few days away.
The tournament begins Thursday at both LVR in Nelson and Selkirk College gymnasium in Castlegar.
Hosting the provincial event is nothing new to the South Slocan-based school as Mount Sentinel has been the feature site of the provincial tournament eight times since 1991 and has won four titles since 1997, the last coming in 2007.
Despite boasting a handful of championships the Single-A Girl’s Division has not been that friendly of late to the Wildcats.
The players are eager to put an end to the drought with the help of the home support.
The Nelson Daily Sports Editor Bruce Fuhr is getting readers into the provincial spirit with a series of profiles on the 2012 Mount Sentinel Wildcats.
Today we feature Grade 12 right side Malin Chernoff.
Malin is considered the youngest of all the Wildcats.
However, age doesn’t mean squat when the 5’9” middle blocker takes the court.
Matter of fact age just seems to get the adrenaline flowing when the Grade 10 player gets the call from head coach Joe Moreira.
“Knowing that I’m the younger and on the senior teams makes me feel that I’ve achieved something great,” the 15-year-old Chernoff said.
Like teammate Kyra Makortoff, Chernoff earned valuable experience playing on the Kootenay squad at the 2012 B.C. Summer Games in Surrey.
The Summer Games experience inspired Chernoff to spend more time on her game.
“During the off season I played club as well as practicing two days a week and lifting weights,” Chernoff said when asked about the off-season routine.
“I also tried to get in extra practices too.”
As a Grade 10 on the team, Chernoff doesn’t want to look too far into the week.
On the eve of the 16-team tournament, Chernoff attempts to put this event into perspective.
“There’s so much pressure. It’s kind of scary (at times),” explained Chernoff, who turns to reading when she’s not volleying a ball.
“Knowing that it’s the last tournament for some girls on the team you want to try to help and make it the best (experience).”
Last season the Wildcats shocked the Kootenays by stealing the zone crown.
It was while the team was at the 2011 championships that coach Moreira started the mental preparation for the 2012 event.
“Listening to coach (Moreira) I knew then I had to devote my all into volleyball.”
The Cats open play Thursday in round robin play at L.V. Rogers.
After a few early games Friday, the balance of the tournament shifts to Selkirk College Gymnasium in Castlegar where the 2012 champion will be crowned Saturday evening.
“I wasn’t to be the best I can be,” said Chernoff of the upcoming few days.
“I want to make smart decision and most of all make (2012 A girl’s volleyball tournament) the best year of my life.”