Dakic presiding over Ontario’s courts

Law student Marko Dakic makes case as one of OUA’s best in first Queen’s season

In his first year for the Gaels, Marko Dakic leads the OUA in both kills per set and hitting percentage.
In his first year for the Gaels, Marko Dakic leads the OUA in both kills per set and hitting percentage.
After playing four years of volleyball as an undergrad at York, Marko Dakic, now a first-year law student, can only play for the Gaels for  one season before his eligibility ends.
But in his first year at Queen’s, Dakic has been on fire, climbing to the top spot in the OUA in both kills per set and hitting percentage.
“It’s perfect timing for a new player to be ‘plugged in’ for just a year, especially when considering the strength of our team,” Dakic said.
While he’ll only be with the Gaels for one season, Dakic said that hasn’t affected his cohesion with the team. 
“They’ve been incredibly receptive as teammates and friends,” he said. “I came in at a good time, joining three other starters in their graduating year.”
The team has found its rhythm as of late, winning six consecutive games and sitting in second place in the OUA with a 7-1 record. 
During his third year at the Schulich School of Business, Dakic realized his time in university was quickly drawing to a close. He looked to extend it in a place that was fitting both on and off the court, ultimately deciding on Queen’s School of Law. 
“I always had an interest in learning law, and decided that applying would be a good idea,” he said. 
While volleyball was part of his decision to come to Queen’s, Dakic says he doesn’t allow it to get in the way of his main goal.
“My career is my number one priority, although I did want to play my fifth year of eligibility somewhere too,” he said. “Queen’s was on my mind all year during my last year at York. The different student experience and the quality of the law school are the factors that really drew me in, apart from the volleyball team.”
Dakic grew up in Mississauga, where he attended Glenforest Secondary School. He’s one of the few Gaels who didn’t play club volleyball in high school, opting to only play for his high school team.
“I played for my high school team starting in grade 10,” he said. “Although it wasn’t necessarily by choice. I wanted to start in grade 9, but I didn’t make the cut.”
Though his high school teams didn’t have any notable success, Dakic proved himself to be a skilled player as a member of Team Ontario at the 2013 Canada Summer Games and at the National Team Challenge Cup in 2012. 
He made the team as a walk-on for the York Lions, helping them win the OUA bronze medal last season.  
When asked about the team’s recent success, he believes simple strategies and enjoyment of the game have been two major contributing factors. 
“I think we’ve been shutting off our brains and playing instinctively,” he said. “We have fun during matches and that’s what has been making us successful.”
Dakic has confidence in a squad that has its sights set high. 
“Our goal is to finish top three and go to nationals,” he said. “It’s a very realistic goal.” 
His teammates have been just as happy with Dakic joining the team.
“A lot of us have played with him [Marko] in the past during the summers,” Mike Tomlinson, a fifth-year starter, said. “He has brought the same high-energy to this team as he has to every other.”
Tomlinson believes that Dakic’s arrival from an OUA rival in York has been a huge benefit for the Gaels. 
“Marko has already made enormous on-court contributions this season,” he said. “He’s done an excellent job in keeping the team moving forward and 
securing a 7-1 record during the recent slew of injuries.” 
Tomlinson added that coming from an OUA opponent in particular has been an asset for the team. 
“It is always useful to see how other teams game plan and execute during a season,” he said. 
The Gaels will face their toughest test yet this weekend, when the number one nationally ranked McMaster Marauders visit the ARC to take on the Gaels on Friday, Nov. 27.
The Marauders haven’t lost a set since their opening match against Waterloo. The Gaels follow that game with a visit to RMC on Saturday to play the Paladins. 
For Tomlinson, Dakic’s experience will be key in moving forward in these games and for the rest of the season. 
“It gives us all a greater perspective on changes that we should be making,” he said.

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