Kyra Makortoff — eager to play in front of the home crowd
In less than a week the Mount Sentinel Wildcats will host the B.C. High School A Girl’s Volleyball Championships (November 28-December 1) at the Selkirk College and L.V. Rogers gymnasiums.
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.
Mount Sentinel, currently ranked third in the province at the Single-A Girl’s Division, has not experienced that much success on the big stage of late.
However, the players are hopeful home court advantage will power the squad to the top of the heap when the prestigious Blue Banner is awarded to the winning team on the evening of December 1.
Before the first serve is taken, 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 10 right side Kyra Makortoff.
Despite being only in Grade 10, Kyra Makortoff is no stranger to the big stage, having played at the 2012 B.C. Summer Games in Surrey.
And that confidence has allowed 5’6” Makortoff has fit right in with the older players.
“Among other contributions to our team, Kyra’s back row play and serve have been a source of personal pride throughout her volleyball career,” said the Senior Girl’s Player profile guide.
Like many of her teammates, Makortoff is excited to be the host school for the event. While realizing it’s a big undertaking to play host to 15 other teams and more than 200 athletes and coaches, life is good when you don’t need to hop a bus or pack a suitcase.
“It’s going to be pretty exciting to play in front of the home crowd and, at the same time, we get to sleep in our own beds,” the country music fan said.
Despite getting into volleyball late by South Slocan standards — in Grade 7 — the sport Makortoff quickly became part of the culture at Mount Sentinel.
So playing for the Cats was just another stepping stone in her net career.
“I really like the sport because it allows me to focus on something that I enjoy doing while as the same time takes my mind off (other) things,” the 15-year-old Makortoff explained.
That enjoyment allows Makortoff to have no problem attending two to three practices per week during the season as well as participate in the club season.
The tournament begins Wednesday with round robin play at both LVR and Selkirk College gymnasiums.
The momentum and excitement continues to build, and next week, the pressure promises to increase for the Wildcats as the tournament nears.
“Ya there’s pressure on us,” Makortoff admits. “Our school is known for winning volleyball championships more than once.”
Despite that pressure, Makortoff has a different focus entering the final tournament of the season.
“Obviously, everyone’s goal on our team is to win because winning is big but mainly (my goal) is to play my best and enjoy the last year with the Grade 12s on the team.”