Triina Voitk was the winner of her team‚Äôs Sportsmanship Award as the Corner Brook Regional High Titans claimed gold at the provincial 4A female volleyball championship held recently in Manuels. ‚ÄĒ Star photo by Geraldine Brophy
CORNER BROOK Coach Mellissa Oates knew from the first day in the gym Triina Voitk knew what sportsmanship was really all about.
Oates guided Voitk and her Corner Brook High Titans teammates to gold at the provincial 4A female volleyball championship held recently in Manuels.
Oates recalls the first day of tryouts for the Titans back in September when starter and Mexico native Paulina Martinez walked into the gym not knowing a soul in her quest to crack the roster.
‚Äú(Voitk) was the first athlete to go over and introduce herself and welcome her to the group and asked her to be her partner,‚ÄĚ Oates said of the Level 1 student. ‚ÄúTo me, that‚Äôs everything. That‚Äôs what sportsmanship is all about. She just does that year in and year out.‚ÄĚ
Voitk‚Äôs pleasant personality and postive attitude on the hardcourt hasn‚Äôt gone without recognition.
Voitk was the winner of her team‚Äôs Sportsmanship Award at the provincial tournament that saw the Titans go undefeated at Holy Spirit High gymnasium.
‚ÄúI‚Äąwas really surprised when I won. It made me really happy,‚ÄĚ Voitk said of being recognized for being a good sport.
Voitk has always thrived on being a positive person and fully supportive of her teammates ever since she embraced competitive volleyball in Grade 7 at Presentation Junior High after moving to the province four years ago. She lives in the city with her father Tonu Voitk and 16-year-old sibling Toomas.
‚ÄúProbably because I smile all the time and if people make a mistake then I‚Äôm not going to get mad at them,‚ÄĚ‚Äąshe said when asked what made her a candidate for the award.
‚ÄúI guess I‚Äôm a good sport. If you‚Äôre down, the rest of your team is going to be too, so you have to be supportive,‚ÄĚ she added.
An avid skier who loves living in Corner Brook because of its winter weather, Voitk said winning is important because that‚Äôs why you work hard in the game, but she insists having fun and meeting new people is just as important as the number of medals and trophies collected.
Oates was quick to point out that Voitk found herself surrounded by a number of competitive third-year athletes at the provincial tournament so she never saw a lot of floor time.
‚ÄúShe was the biggest fan of everybody and when she did get floor time she went on the floor with a smiling face all the time and giving a tremendous effort every time,‚ÄĚ she said.
Winning its fifth provincial 4A female volleyball crown in the past seven years, Voitk and a strong supporting cast of Titans posted an undefeated record at the provincial championship, which culminated with a straight-set sweep (26-24, 25-19) of Holy Trinity High School in the gold-medal final at Holy Spirit High gymnasium.
Voitk has enjoyed a lot of success on the hardcourt, the biggest highlight perhaps coming last year when she was a member of the Presentation Grade 9 female team that got the nod as the Newfoundland and Labrador Volleyball Association junior high female team of the year.
She loves the sport because it gives her much more than a good workout and a chance to socialize.
‚ÄúIt‚Äôs a thinking game. You not only got to be active, but you have to know where the ball is going. It‚Äôs pretty challenging,‚ÄĚ she said.