Third year Clipper taking on assistant captain role
<strong>The importance of family</strong>
Carlee Leclerc is in her third year with the Briercrest Clippers women’s volleyball team, but the veteran outside hitter continues to improve every year.
The graduate of Mennonite Brethren Collegiate Institute, hails from Winnipeg, MB, where she was raised by her parents Mary and Gary, and grew up with a younger sister, Dominique.
Leclerc says that her dad has been a key influence in her volleyball career.
“He has been there every step of the way”, says Leclerc, “driving me to practices half way across the city, talking me through what needs to get better and putting in extra hours so I could have extra practice and improve. It has gotten me to where I am now.”
<strong>Making an impact</strong>
The versatile Leclerc has been playing volleyball for 10 years, with a variety of experience at different positions with her MBCI high school team. She was honored as an Athlete of Distinction in 2008, and in the Winnipeg club volleyball system, where she last played with the Jr Bison club during her Grade 12 year. Currently playing right side for the second season in a row with the Clippers, Leclerc has the ability to play any position, with past experience at libero, middle, setter and left side.
Since coming to Briercrest, Leclerc has matured into a solid force for the Clippers. She earned some playing time in her first year with the Clippers as a libero and left side, but continued to improve from there. Last season she earned a full-time starting spot at right side, and also the honor of being the Clippers Most Improved Player.
Leclerc helped lead her team into the ACAC conference tournament for the first time since 2003 and was the best server in the entire ACAC, leading the league in serving aces per game. Leclerc says that making it to the final tournament was a highlight for her so far in her career.
“It was amazing to see the progress of our team from the beginning to the end and then making it to provincials. It was so exciting and makes me even more excited for this year!”
<strong>Taking on a new role</strong>
This year, she has taken on the role of assistant captain and has shown a great deal of leadership on and off the court.
“Carlee is a great leader because she does it by example”, coach Nolan Weinmaster said. “She really models the way for the girls with the way she plays and carries herself on the court, but also with her solid character and the way she treats everyone with respect. . . . She is also a great support to Aryn, our captain.”
Along with improving her leadership skills, the veteran Leclerc continues to steadily improve on the court.
“This year Carlee has been showing steady improvement again," Weinmaster said. "She has been a very consistent attacker and server as usual, but her passing consistency on serve receive has also improved a lot over last season.”
<strong>The benefits of a great decision</strong>
The 5’ 10” Leclerc says that she chose Briercrest because of the vibe she got from the team during the recruiting process.
“While talking to the girls on the team and Nolan, I noticed how passionate they were about the sport, academics and faith. I knew immediately that it was something that I wanted to be a part of.”
She says her decision to come to Briercrest is the best one she has ever made.
“I enjoy being able to go to practice or to a game and play the sport that I love and was given the ability to play with a group of girls who love it like I do and share the same faith," LeClerc said. "Being a part of a team like that is not something that everyone gets to experience and it is something I look forward to everyday.”
Leclerc’s enjoyment of Briercrest goes beyond athletics.
“I enjoy the friendships that I have been able to make on and off the court here at Briercrest. It is one of the things that makes coming back year after year such an easy decision.”
After completing her BA in Humanities at Briercrest, Leclerc plans to go into an after-degree in Education, and eventually to become an elementary school teacher.