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Height advantage in Hailey Oke’s favour in future with Sea-Hawks

John Slauenwhite believes Hailey Oke will be an impact player in the Atlantic University Sport.

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Hailey Oke hones her skillset at a practice in this Star file photo from 2015. Oke will wear the red and white of the Memorial Sea-Hawks varsity women’s volleyball team next year after signing a letter of intent to do so after she graduates from Corner Brook High in June.

Oke, a 6-3 dominant force for the Corner Book High Titans 4A female volleyball squad and a prospect for the province’s 2017 Canada Games team, will wear the red and white of the Memorial University Sea-Hawks upon completion of high school in June.

Oke, 17-year-old daughter of Pennie and Terry Oke of Massey Drive, has committed to the Memorial program as one of the top local talents for the 2017-18 recruiting class.

“She’s a true student of the game,” Slauenwhite said Tuesday from St. John’s.

“She’s always processing and learning, and working hard to get better all the time.”

Slauenwhite has had a keen interest in Oke for a couple of years. He’s familiar with her power, strength and agility as a physical presence on the court from her participation in both Sea-Hawks camps and the Canada Games program.

She’s a very coachable athlete who works hard at improving her skillset so her work ethic is something he will welcome into the mix next season.

Then there’s her physicality. She’s a physical presence on the floor at 6-3 and that’s certainly something her coach feels will help her find her way at the next level of volleyball.

“We always say you can’t teach height so she’s got an advantage there and she’s somebody we’re looking forward to having in our program over the next few years,” he said.

Volleyball has been a huge part of Oke’s life. She has a volleyball in her hands every day, playing for the Titans or working out with the 2017 Canada Games prospects, and also finds time to coach a team at Corner Brook Intermediate.

But, she put a lot of time into her decision to play the game after high school. She wanted to keep playing, but to what extent she wasn’t sure. She had to figure out if she was willing to be committed to the game when she knew the workload in the classroom would be hectic and require some adjustment.

“I finally decided that I’m ready for that challenge and I want to see where that takes me,” she said.

“Honestly, volleyball has been my whole life. Ever since, I’ve been little I’ve been exposed to the sport and I can’t imagine my life not playing volleyball.”

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