Danielle Walsh opts for change of scenery after two years with Dragons

Dave Kearsey
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Danielle Walsh poses for a photo while home on break at Christmas.

CORNER BROOK  Two years of varsity volleyball at St. Anne’s University has helped paved the way for Danielle Walsh’s desire to be a French teacher one day, but she’s ready for a change of scenery.

Walsh, a Corner Brook native, wrapped up her sophomore season at the franchophone university in Nova Scotia a few weeks ago when the St. Anne’s Dragons failed to make the playoffs in the eight-team Atlantic College Athletic Association women’s volleyball setup.

While she’s eligible to hone both her volleyball and French skills for another three years at St. Anne’s, Walsh has opted to attend Memorial University of Newfoundland in St. John’s in September to finish off her pursuit of a bachelor of arts with a French major.

“Just to be closer to home,” Walsh said. “I found the school up there was probably a little too tiny ... I needed something bigger.

“It was a great atmosphere, but it was just time to move on,” she added of the great learning environment she found herself immersed in for those two years.

Only the top four teams advance to the playoffs, so the Dragons were left on the outside looking in after a sixth-place finish in the standings. It wasn’t as exciting as her rookie season when the Dragons managed to earn a playoff berth.

“It’s a little bit disappointing that our hard work didn’t pay off, but then again the teams this year in the league we’re closer in competition,” she said. “So it was harder this year to probably to make the playoffs than it was last year.”

She looks back on her two years at St. Anne’s with no regrets and chooses to look at all the positives from the experience rather than the negatives. She takes pride in the fact the team worked hard all year and even though she felt she could have played better, she wasn’t about to beat herself up over it.

“We pushed ourselves more this year because we realized we had a stronger team, so that was a positive for us, but just in the end it didn’t work out the way we wanted it to,” she said.

Wash was a dominant force for the Dragons in her rookie campaign and she received the accolades to prove it. She won female athlete of the year at St. Anne’s and also got the nod as the Dragons most valuable player. She then earned selection to the ACAA second all-star team to make school officials look like geniuses when she was selected recruit of the year in her first season after an impressive high school career with the Corner Brook Titans.

More importantly, the 20-year-old learned a life lesson or two from taking the journey.

“I feel that if hadn’t went two years ago right out of high school I probably wouldn’t have matured as much as I have and got used to living away from home,” she said. “I felt it really helped me as a person grow ... personality wise and being able to meet new people.”

Volleyball has been a passion for the young woman for so many years it’s tough to imagine what life would be like without it, but life goes on so time will tell what the future holds.

“I’m still unsure if I want to play next year. I might want a break, but who knows what could happen come September,” she said.



Organizations: Atlantic College Athletic Association, Memorial University of Newfoundland

Geographic location: CORNER BROOK, Nova Scotia

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