Acuña uses international experience to help team succeed.
By Jadon Frank
As Pablo Acuña wraps up his four year career he can look back and be proud of what he has accomplished, but also look with anticipation to finish his final season at Briercrest on a high note.
The libero currently sits seventh in the ACAC with 127 digs, an average of 2.3 digs/game. He has helped provide the defensive backbone to a Briercrest team that sits second in the ACAC and is ranked 11th in the most recent CCAA coaches polls.
During Acuña’s career Briercrest has had an incredible record of success, with an ACAC medal every season, highlighted by the 2010-11 season where the team had an ACAC best regular season record, won the ACAC championship and a bronze medal at the CCAA national championship. During his tenure Briercrest has never finished with more than four losses in a season, has never finished worse than second in the standings nor has left the ACAC championships without a medal.
His current career total of 529 digs will rank him near the top of the ACAC career digs record books.
The native of San Jose, Costa Rica left the tropical climate behind in the fall of 2009 and ventured into the snowy frontier of Saskatchewan.
“Volleyball was the main reason I came to Briercrest,” Acuña explained. “But, I think the need for a spiritual path was one of the main reasons that ended up bringing me here.”
The Business Administration student has enjoyed his Prairie experience.
“There have been a lot of great moments at Briercrest, so it is hard to pick just one,” Acuña said. “I would say that being part of a successful team that has been top three in the ACAC the past three years, and experience of being on the first team at Briercrest to win the ACAC title and being at Nationals are really great moments that I could never forget.”
“Participating in international tournaments with Costa Rica´s national team, playing against the best countries in the world like U.S.A and Cuba is something I will never forget,” Acuña continued. “However, being part of that Briercrest team was more intimate and special.”
“In my first year the way my team welcomed me was so special, and now I get to do that with the new guys,” Acuña continued. “It is really special because I know how that feels and I know the importance of that in players and people. So, I think that is what makes our team special; that we not only think about ourselves, but others.”
Acuna’s goals for this year are simple.
“My goal as a student is to graduate from business this year,” Acuña said. “As an athlete, my goal is to help the team reach our goals this season by perfecting my skills and game.”
Acuña, who cites Green Lantern as his favourite super hero, explained that his strengths relate to his interactions with people.
“I would say I spend a lot of time studying people,” Acuña said. “That enables me to understand them and where they are coming from. I bring experience and intensity to the team, in the moments we need these elements.”
As Acuña’s career comes to a close he reflects on what his time after Briercrest will look like.
“I would like to work in an accounting firm when I am done,” Acuña said. “If money wasn’t an issue I would travel all over the world watching concerts of my favourite bands.”
“I would like to see Asia,” Acuña explained. “My favourite band is the National, I have never seen them live. If I could do something to make the world a better place I would lock Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga and all the Top 40 in a room in Pammukale, Turkey and I would never let them out. People need to hear better music.”
Perhaps one day Acuña will combine his passions for music, sport and business, but for now he is focusing on providing the back bone to continued Briercrest volleyball success.