Kolby Richter thought she was done in competitive volleyball. With no club volleyball in Vernon, collegiate scouts were unable to catch her act.
After acing a one-day identification camp put on by the Capilano College Blues last April in North Vancouver, Richter’s career was resurrected.
The 6-foot-1 middle blocker will play for Cal Wohlford’s women’s team on a scholarship this season.
“There were 30 or 40 girls at the camp and the coach said ‘You made it’ and I went ‘wow’,” said Richter, a natural-born leader who snowboards and plays soccer for crosstraining.
“I’m really vocal on the court and I’ve been captain for most of my teams.”
Wohlford was impressed that Richter simply showed up for the camp without first promoting herself with e-mails or phone calls.
“She kind of just jumped in there and nobody could stop her,” said Wohlford, in his first year as Blues’ head coach. “She wasn’t particularly fast, but she just kept on scoring. She’s got some good game vision, she works hard and she’s got a great sense of humour.”
Wohlford will start Richter and Farren McDonald (red-shirted last year) in the middle. Capilano starts the PacWest season Oct. 12 at home versus the Douglas College Ducks of New Westminster. The Blues finished third last season and have four returnees.
Richter has towered over just about everybody since taking up the sport in elementary school at Okanagan Landing. She loved volleyball from day one and credits high school coach Sharon Shaigec with keeping her in the game.
Shaigec guided the Fulton Maroons to a provincial AAA championship in Richter’s Grade 11 year, and a ninth-place showing last season.
“She really got me motivated in reaching my potential,” said Richter, who was born in Prince George so had plenty of support at the 2010 provincial tournament in her hometown.
“She pushed me hard and she knew I could do it. In Grade 11, we had a really strong starting lineup. I guess I kind of gave up (after this year) but I still wanted to keep playing.”
Shaigec describes Richter as an excellent teammate, and is ecstatic she has made the jump to college ball.
“Kolby is a strong front-row player, dominating at the net with solid blocking skills and has a fast arm in the middle for quick attacks and step arounds,” said Shaigec, a former Team Canada player.
“Kolby has a very powerful float serve which will throw the opposition off on serve receive. Even though Kolby is a first-year player, she is very motivated and lives for the sport of volleyball which is obvious when she’s on the court.”
Richter, whose 6-foot-4 father, Pete, was a world-class handball player back in the day, will study management at Cap College while staying with family friends.
Kolby, who turned 18 in August, spent the summer hostessing at Boston Pizza and working at a Blues’ junior high school volleyball camp.