Strathmore standout joins Clippers

Nigel Mullan | Apr 7, 2011

The Briercrest College Clippers have added a highly skilled outside hitter to their lineup for the upcoming year.

Women’s volleyball head coach, Nolan Weinmaster, is pleased to announce the signing of Mikayla Reinhardt for the 2011-12 season. The 5’ 11” outside hitter comes to the Clippers from Alberta, where she grew up on a farm near Strathmore.

Reinhardt currently plays for the 403 Selects Volleyball Club out of Calgary, Alta. They won a bronze medal at 17U Alberta Provincials last season, and are looking to build on that accomplishment this year.

Selects head coach, Kelly Gedlaman, recognizes Reinhardt’s athletic ability and character.

“Mikayla came to me with very good mechanics,” Gedlaman said.”Not just in volleyball but in life. She was always on time, always happy, always engaged. She has her ‘stuff’ in order.”

According to Gedlaman, Reinhardt’s biggest strength is her consistency, which will serve her well as she moves to the post-secondary level of volleyball.

“Mikayla is such a steady and well balanced athlete. Her nickname is ‘Money’, because if I was gonna bet, I would bet on her,” Gedlaman said. “Give her a perfect set and she’ll bury it. Give her a crappy set and she’ll find a way to make it play. Don’t set her and she will be right there for the cover. In the back row she moves and digs and hits and yells and serves with an absolute minimum of mistakes. She does all this point in and point out, game after game.”

Reinhardt’s consistency flows from a maturity she has in the mental side of her game.

“[Mikayla is] an athlete that truly doesn’t care what the others are doing or thinking, but does what’s right for her and her team,” Gedlaman said.

Coach Weinmaster is thrilled about Reinhardt joining the Clippers.

“Mikayla is bringing a lot of great things to our program. I see her making a big contribution to our team with her offensive ability – she has the ability to terminate rallies and hit with consistency,” he said. She also has strong ball control and great court movement . . . I really like her positive attitude, work ethic, and that she is someone who wants to continue to develop the great character that has been instilled in her from growing up in a great family.”

“She is a perfect fit for our program here at Briercrest and someone who will be a key part in continuing to build a championship program. I am really looking forward to being her coach!”

Gedlaman echoes those thoughts.

“She’s blessed to have an amazing mom and dad, and a little brother that thinks she’s pretty neat. She’s a country girl. Tough and strong . . . she is a dream kid to coach.”

For Reinhardt it was immediate success when she started playing volleyball in grade six, as her team won their first tournament. From there she was hooked on the sport and played on all the school teams through junior high and high school. From grade seven to nine, Reinhardt also played for the Wheatland Aces club where she was coached by Randy and Susan Moncks. Randy continued to coach her through high school as an assistant coach as well.

“Mikayla is very passionate and dedicated to the sport of volleyball” Moncks said.  “She is always very positive to her fellow teammates and both Susan and I found her very coachable, always willing to learn.  As coaches there is nothing more rewarding and exciting as to have one of our players show the desire and the ability to move to a higher level of volleyball. Mikayla comes from a very supportive family and we enjoyed the company of both Darren and Audra.”

Reinhardt also enjoyed personal success during her high school career with the Strathmore High School Spartans, where she had the privilege of having Louise Bleier as her head coach. She was named the MVP for the senior girls volleyball team for her grade 11 season and was then selected as team captain for her grade 12 season.

Reinhardt’s leadership will be missed at Strathmore High.

As one of our captains this year, Mikayla really went out of her way to lead by example,” Coach Bleier said. “She led quietly on the court, but most importantly, by getting to know each one of her teammates, and by being their biggest fan!  In our year end letter, every player commented on how much fun it was to play on the court with her, but also how much the quiet chats meant to them, and how much they appreciated her positive comments to them – plus how much they were going to miss their captain next season!”  

Bleier sees a bright future ahead for Reinhardt.

“Mikayla is a talent both on and off the court – she is strong athletically and academically,” Bleier said.  “She has a great work ethic, strong morals and values, a positive attitude, a great sense of humour, and is truly a pleasure to work with.”  

“Mikayla started in power all three years in high school, and was a dominant force on the court. I believe she will become a dominant player in the ACAC; it is merely a question of when. . . . Lots of players want to play well, but are not prepared to do the work that it takes to excel. Mikayla has a very strong work ethic and wants to do the work to excel!”  

Outside of volleyball, Reinhardt has a passion for reading and writing. She is a strong student, having been consistently on the honour roll throughout junior high and high school. Reinhardt is interested in being an English teacher and has been recognized for her poetry and story writing as well.

Reinhardt is planning to take the Education program at Briercrest, but said, “I have not decided on whether I want to teach primary or secondary yet – it’s a 50-50 split at the moment.”

Reinhardt is excited about joining the Briercrest women’s volleyball team and building on some of the relationships she made during her campus visit.

“I am most excited about getting to know everyone I met over there a lot better and I know I am going to make life-long friends!”