A standout at the net

Standing at 6’8”, Scott Brunet’s defensive presence on the volleyball court has caused headaches for opposing coaches and teams this year.  

A fifth year from Calgary, Alberta, Brunet’s become one of the premier men’s volleyball players in the province, with 53 total blocks this year placing him second in the OUA, while he sits third in blocks per set.

But while he’s a team veteran and key cog in the Gaels’ 11-4 record so far this season, a fresh face has joined the team this year — his younger brother Chris, a first-year.

“I still remember when he was just a little kid running around my high school team’s practices ... and now he is on the court playing next to me every day,” Scott said. “It has really been an amazing experience for us as brothers.” 

Scott and Chris aren’t the first family to attend Queen’s, though they did follow in their parents’ footsteps. Their mother, Caryl, completed her Bachelor of Science in Physiotherapy in 1982, while their father, Grant, was in the medicine class of 1983.

The elder Brunet started playing volleyball in grade 7. Though he wasn’t interested in the sport at first, he was hooked  by the time he entered high school and joined a local club team. 

When it came time for university, it was more than Queen’s academic reputation that brought Brunet halfway across the country to Kingston. 

“It was definitely a big part of my decision to play for a competitive volleyball team where I could continue to improve my skills,” he said. 

With four players on the team in their final year of eligibility, and six first-year players, Brunet and the other veteran Gaels have a short window to provide leadership. 

“Every year you become more confident in your understanding of the game as well as what your team needs from you as a leader,” he said. 

“I hope that the younger players on the team this year can learn something from me and the other veterans as well so they can continue to be successful.”

Sitting at third place in the OUA standings with an 11-4 record, the Gaels look to continue their strong season on the road in Guelph against the Gryphons on Friday,before travelling to Waterloo the next night. 

Brunet’s goals for his final season in a Gaels’ uniform are lofty, but ones he believes are realistic considering their strong graduating core.

“Since it is the final year of volleyball for a bunch of us, it would be amazing to win an OUA championship and qualify for nationals,” Brunet said. 

“We have a lot of skill, and if we make the necessary adjustments we need to as a team, we can be very successful in the playoffs.”

 

Corrections

February 7, 2016

The photo that accompanied this article has been removed. The subject in the photo was misidentified as Scott Brunet when it was actually his brother Chris.

The Journal regrets the error.

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