Sights set high for Ponoka volleyballer

Lauren Bussiere has had her eyes on the Alberta Winter Games since 2012 and her hard work and dedication has paid off.

Lauren Bussiere is heading to the Alberta Winter Games in February. She is competing with 11 other girls in Zone 4 in Banff and Canmore.

Lauren Bussiere is heading to the Alberta Winter Games in February. She is competing with 11 other girls in Zone 4 in Banff and Canmore.

Lauren Bussiere has had her eyes on the Alberta Winter Games since 2012 and her hard work and dedication has paid off.

The 14-year-old is heading to the 2014 Alberta Winter Games Feb. 6 to 9 in Banff and Canmore. Inspiration to try out for the games came when Bussiere saw some of her friends compete in the 2012 games. Making it this year became somewhat of a focus. Not only does she play for her team at St. Augustine Catholic School, but she also competes as part of a club team.

Playing with both teams helped earn her a spot with 11 other girls on the U15 Zone 4 team and now Bussiere practices once a week with her new teammates, some of whom come from Red Deer and Sylvan Lake. There were two tryouts, which proved a challenge.

“I was extremely nervous for both of them,” said Bussiere.

Only nine players came to the first tryouts and she was invited to a second round where more than 40 girls competed. Bussiere said this helped her feel more confident, “knowing that I could move on.”

Practices are held mostly in Lacombe and she praised the coaches for their effort in bringing the girls together as a team. Bussiere did not know anyone on the Zone 4 team.

“I think the coaches are doing a really good job,” she explained.

Her teammates are working together well.

“They’re all very welcoming to a couple of us that didn’t know anyone,” she added.

Hearing she had made the team was exciting but there was a bit of shock as well. Bussiere did not think she played well on the second set of tryouts but the coaches felt differently.

Bussiere started the sport when she was 11-years-old and has not looked back. She hopes to continue playing and develop her skills enough to compete on a college team. To keep her experience up, Bussiere plays two to three times a week with her club team and the Zone 4 team. She wants to improve her passing.

“Passing is definitely a goal for me, just to be more consistent,” she explained.

Bussiere was the only girl from Ponoka who tried out, which was a surprise for her as she feels the town has a lot to offer when it comes to volleyball. “For not a huge town, Ponoka has a lot of volleyball.”