TORONTO, Ont. – It took Adam Sandeson some time to return to form, but once he did, he never looked back.
After a year away from the game, the 23-year-old from Lower Truro returned to the Canadian university volleyball ranks this season and left his mark as a libero for the Ryerson Rams of the Ontario University Athletics conference.
“Any time off in volleyball, your skills and the way you move, and as you get older too, everything becomes a little bit harder, so it definitely took me a few months at the start of the year to get back into volleyball shape,” said Sandeson.
Sandeson went into the 2018-19 season as a fifth-year university player. Following high school at CEC, he spent four years with the Dalhousie Tigers, where he won two AUS championships and was a three-time conference all-star. He then attended the University of Toronto for a year, where he focused on studies and didn’t play volleyball, before catching on with the Rams for his final university-eligible season.
Sandeson played in 17 of his team’s 18 matches this past season. He ranked second in the conference in digs per set (2.51), third in digs (168) and was top 10 in sets (67). He was honoured for his success by being named an OUA East Division first-team all-star, an award voted on by coaches.
“It meant a lot to me to know that I could kind of stop playing at the varsity level for a year and come back to it and still have a little gas left in the tank,” said Sandeson. “And it was nice to see other coaches in a different division outside the Atlantic provinces recognize that I could still do some good things in my fifth year.”
The Rams finished second in the OUA East Division with a 12-6 record and lost a quarter-final playoff match to the Windsor Lancers in five sets. Windsor would later win bronze at the USports national championship.
“We probably exceeded expectations,” said Sandeson, the lone fifth-year player on the team. “We were a pretty young team, actually.”
He said the Rams were a close-knit group, and players often hung out together off the court, as well.
“I’m really impressed with the way our friendships have developed in such a short amount of time,” he said.
Sandeson said he has enjoyed his two years in Toronto, meeting new people and experiencing big-city life in a different part of the country. There is a downside, however.
“Rent; cost of living, easily double than what I was used to in Halifax,” he laughed.
Sandeson obtained a bachelor of science degree from Dalhousie, before enrolling in a one-year masters program in environmental science at U of T. At Ryerson, he took business management.
He has been working with a solar company in Toronto, but will return to Nova Scotia at the end of June, where he hopes to find work in his field. He is also exploring options to play professional volleyball in Europe.
Did you know?
Adam Sandeson’s introduction to volleyball came as a junior high school student at Central Colchester. He developed a deep passion for the game at the high school level as a member of the CEC Cougars under coach Harvey MacEachern. Sandeson won a NSSAF Division 1 title in his senior year with the Cougars. – “Harvey, in particular, he definitely prepared me well for university volleyball, both mentally and physically.”