Augustana Volleyball Player Rae Metrunec

Augustana Volleyball Player Rae Metrunec

by ACAC Sports Writer Curtis J. Phillips

The Metrunec surname is well-known within the University of Alberta Augustana Vikings athletics community.

Jill Metrunec played five years for the women's volleyball team from 2011-2016.

Lee Metrunec had a cup of coffee with the Vikings soccer team in 2014-2015.

Rae Metrunec is currently in her third year with the Vikings volleyball side..

Augustana was the college of choice for all three sisters, who grew up on an acreage outside New Sarepta, which is located only 46-kilometres away from the Camrose-based post-secondary institution.

For Rae, a 5-foot-10 left-side, looked forward to her rookie season in 2015-2016.

"I just wanted to be with both my sisters as they were both there at the time," recalled Metrunec, who is enrolled in Bachelor of Science,  majoring in Mathematics & Physics. "We spent a lot of time together and they showed me how everything works at university. They helped me out that first year.

"I also decided to attend (Augustana) as it was close to home, close to family and a smaller community rather than the big cities."

Jill was entering her fifth and final year with the women's volleyball team when Rae joined the Vikings.

Jill's stats were impressive: 265 sets, 331 kills, 364 digs, 84 blocks and 29 service aces.

Four sets into the 2015-2016 season though, Jill went down with a season-ending knee injury.

"She got hurt in the second game of the season," recalls Rae. "It was a tough year for her and I tried to boost her up and say, "Look forward to the next part of life," as she knew she was graduating and moving to California to study to become a chiropractor."

Later that same season, Rae would be sidelined with her own knee injury.

"She was there to boost me up now . She told me to stay positive…that I still have a lot of time to improve and get better.  We found out that my injury was not a big deal. Basically time and rest.  Although she was no longer able to play, Jill would still come to practice and toss balls and shag balls. She was always a big pump-up person for the team, helping someone who was down. She was good at talking to people."

On game days, Rae listens to AC/DC and "other music that fits the day,"  to relax and focus.

Rae has also displayed impressive on-court stats like her sister.

Leading into the 2017-2018 ACAC campaign, Rae, 20, has totaled 209 kills, 30 service aces, 157 digs and 11 blocks.

She credits her parents and sisters for pushing her in the right direction.

"Jill and Lee are very important in my life. I remember at a young age watching them play and me wanting to be out there with them. They pushed me in the right direction.  We were all pretty competitive...especially with Jill. Obviously she was stronger when I was little and if I could beat her at something, it was a good feeling.

"My mom Sherry (who played volleyball at Lakeland College) and my dad (Mitch) would push us to going outside and getting fresh air instead of staying inside all day watching TV."

Metrunec leads the Vikings in total kills and second in total digs.

Her favourite quote: "Winners never quit and quitters never win." - Vince Lombardi.