At six-feet one-inches in height, the first-year Nipissing university student and outside hitter for their varsity volleyball program was literally head and shoulders over the rest of the rookies in the Ontario College Athletic Associations women’s volleyball league. Ardron earned Ontario rookie of the year honours over a highly skilled freshman class of the 2011-12 season.
“There were so many great rookies in the league this year,” said Ardron. “I was really surprised and honoured to receive this award.”
Ardron lead a number Nipissing award winners, who on top of her rookie of the year award earned a west division first team all star nod as well. Teammates Lucia DeMarco, Megan Gilmore and Kristi Towne all earned west division second team all-star awards.
Head coach Marc Larochelle, on the other hand wasn’t as surprised with the mark Ardron has made on the league in her first season. Larochelle and his staff had been keeping an eye on Ardron throughout the last year, traveling to watch her during her high school and club volleyball seasons.
“Having watched her through her club season last year we knew she’d be an impact player,” stated Larochelle.
Seeing more than just her athletic ability as an asset, Larochelle also made Ardron a co-captain of the varsity Lakers.
“It was evident that she had some great leaderships skills as well,” added the Larochelle.
The anchoring of Ardron as a team leader is a pivotal point in the development in the Nipissing Volleyball program, as the Lakers will see at least four of their senior players graduate. This leaves some big holes to fill for the Lakers considering the steps the program will be making in the next couple of years.
The Nipissing Lakers currently stock seven athletic programs, five of which play in the Ontario University Athletic conference.
With the continued success of both the men’s and women’s volleyball programs and the expansion of the athletic programs the athletic department will be moving the teams to OUA competition for the 2013 season. It’s a big move and a bigger adjustment to a higher level of competition.
“We felt it was the right move,” stated Larochelle.
The move to the university league is an exciting endeavour for Ardron, who mirrors her coach’s perspective and looks forward to taking not just her game, but also that of her teammates to the next level.