Assiniboine Community College and its volleyball program have been great fits for Virden’s Rayna Schwalm.
“The best part about playing volleyball at Assiniboine Community College is definitely my teammates,” said Schwalm, who is studying early childhood education. “We have a great coaching staff and such a close team this season and it really makes practices and games so much fun. I am very lucky to be able to continue to play the sport I love so much while continuing my education in a field that I enjoy.”
The daughter of Brad and Janice Schwalm has earned playing time as an outside hitter, mostly at right side, for her Brandon school squad. ACC women’s volleyball head coach Jeff Maxwell praised Schwalm as being one of the team’s most dedicated players. He also said she has improved a great deal.
“She hits a very hard ball and has improved her hitting percentages,” Maxwell said. “Her defence and blocking have been her area of largest improvement.”
Schwalm has enjoyed how competitive college volleyball is.
“There are a lot of games that come down to the last couple of points,” she said. “In high school and club, there are more teams in the league but the skill level from one team to another can be very different. We also have a longer season than high school and club, so we have more opportunities to play each team in our league.”
Schwalm is also liking her studies. She is pursuing an ECE career because she enjoys spending time with children.
“I am so glad I chose this field because I am learning may different teaching techniques and skills that I can use to help the children I work with in the future reach their full potential,” Schwalm said. “Early childhood is an important field that there is definitely a need for.”
A former Virden Collegiate Institute standout in volleyball, Schwalm also played the sport in the club ranks for Club West, Fuzion and, for the last three seasons, Brandon’s Cats Volleyball Club. She said she loves the sport because it has created lifelong memories and friendships for her. Her parents have firmly backed her on her volleyball journey.
“They have been a huge support to me through my entire volleyball career, driving me to Brandon for practices three or more days a week and then driving even further on weekends to make sure I get to my games and tournaments,” Schwalm said. “They have spent many hours sitting on the bleachers cheering on my teammates and me. They come to as many home and away games as they can and when they cannot attend, they live stream the game from wherever they are. I am very thankful to them for all their time, money and support that they have given me over the years.”