Langley/Italy (Josh Olund BCIT Radio A&E) – Trinity Western University alums Hillary Howe (Calgary)and Brie King (Langley) were named to the 17-player roster that will represent Canada in the 2021 FIVB Volleyball Nations League,starting on May 25 in Italy and will be held in a“bubble”.
Continuing from the successful 2018 and 2019 competitions,the 2021 Volleyball Nations League (VNL) continues in the same format of 12 teams,along with four challenger teams pergender with each team playing against each other.Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the matches for both genders will be played in the Italian city of Rimini.
Howe is coming off her final year at TWU, having just graduated this spring after an outstanding Spartans career, which included back-to-back Canada West championships, in 2019 and 2020.In four playing seasons – with the 2020-21 season having been cancelled due to the pandemic -she was a three-time Canada West All-Star as well as a First Team All-Canadian in 2019-20.
Howe began playing internationally in 2019, representing Canada at the Summer Universiade,the Pan American Games, NORCECA Champions Cup and the NORCECA Women’s Volleyball Continental Championship.King was a Canada West All-Star in her fourth and final year with the Spartans, 2018-19, and finished her TWU career as a two-time conference champion(2016 and 2019).
Since then, King has been a rising star at the international level,earning Canada’s starting setting role for the2020 FIVB Continental Olympic Qualification tournament.She has also played professionally over in Germany in 2019-20 with Dresdner SC 1898 and with Athletes Unlimited this pas spring.
The 12 main teams for the FIVB include Brazil, China,Germany, Italy, Japan, Korea,Netherlands, Russia, Serbia, Thailand, Turkey and the USA. The challenger teams are Belgium,the Dominican Republic, and Poland, plus Canada who won the latest FIVB Challenger Cup to replace Bulgaria who was relegated in 2019.
The 2021 VNL is set to begin on May 25 for the women and May 28 for the men, with the preliminary round completed on June 20 for the women and June 23 for the men (Canada’s team is TBA). The 2020 event was cancelled due to the pandemic.