A volleyball championship for every year of study
They first met when they played on rival volleyball teams in high school. They bonded at a volleyball summer camp at UBC. Now, after five years, Kyla Richey and Rayel Quiring are graduating from UBC as teammates, close friends and champions.
For each of the five years that Richey and Quiring have played on the UBC Thunderbirds women’s volleyball team, they have won the Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) Championships.
Richey, who grew up in Roberts Creek, B.C. and who will be graduating from the Faculty of Education’s Kinesiology program, joked that after the first year championship she thought, “that felt pretty good—let’s do that again four more times.”
By the time Richey and Quiring made it to the playoffs in 2012, they’d decided they weren’t coming home without the gold.
“There was a lot of pressure, but we put it on ourselves,” said Quiring, who is from Langley, B.C. and who will be graduating with a major in human resources from
Sauder School of Business.
The pair did more than win the national championships. In their last
year as TBirds, both players received major awards in the sport. Quiring was named the Student-Athlete of the Year
for the western division of the CIS.
Richey, a left side hitter for the team, was named the CIS player of the year, the third consecutive UBC player to win the award. She is also a member of Canada’s National Team and will be in the qualifier for the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London.
Next year, the two athletes are planning to move to Europe where they’ll play pro-volleyball. But first, Quiring, is heading to El Salvador.
Quiring is leading a group of 10 UBC athletes who are volunteering with Habitat for Humanity. A partnership developed by UBC basketball alumnus Bill Humphries, this is the second contingent of UBC student-athletes
that will travel to El Salvador to help
“I’ve learned that I have the ability to make change,” said Quiring, who is also heavily involved in the community through organizations like the Canadian Cancer Society and the Vancouver Board of Trade’s Leader of Tomorrow program.