The PacWest volleyball is finished, and the 2014 playoffs are just around the corner, scheduled for February 20-22 in North Vancouver. For Dillon Collett, VIU’s only fifth-year player, this season marks his last chance at a national championship.
Collett has been a force on the court for the Mariners this season. His 193 digs make him the team leader in that category. His average of 1.83 digs per set puts him 12th in the entire PacWest. Collett is also sixth in the PacWest in total offense with an average of 4.07 points per set.
Being the Mariners’ only fifth-year player comes with some extra pressure, but Collett feels he’s adjusting well to a leadership role. “As a fifth-year, you’re automatically looked up to, being the veteran guy,” he says. But Collett also feels that the leadership he brings is different than other players he’s played with in the past.
“When I was a first-year, all the seniors were men,” says Collett. “They were all, like, 25-years-old with wives and kids. I’m only 22-years-old, so that’s a little bit different.”
Volleyball is in Collett’s blood. His parents met through volleyball, and he’s been playing it for as long as he can remember.
“I was learning how to play volleyball as soon as I was old enough to walk,” he says. “My dad used to take me to his tournaments all the time when I was a kid and I would sit there and watch him play. I was just raised on volleyball.”
Collett played high school volleyball in Surrey and was coached by his father. “He was kind of always my coach,” says Collett. “He was always a volleyball God to me, so it was cool that he was my coach.”
After being born and raised in Surrey, Dillon came to VIU two years ago, and while the Island represents a different pace from his hometown, Collett says he’s had no trouble adjusting. “I love the Island life. It’s a little slower than what I’m used to. Everyone here is friendly and really chill. There’s a sort of hippy vibe and I like that.”
The highlight of Dillon’s volleyball career came last season when he represented VIU at the Nationals last season. “It was a really cool feeling to be at the show,” he says, “playing with the eight best teams in the nation. It was cool to be a part of it.”
Collett has one more year left at VIU after this, but is unfortunately ineligible to play volleyball next season. He plans to graduate with a degree in Psychology. After graduation, Collett says he’s going to travel Europe and try to play professional volleyball, but hopefully not before leading the Mariners to a national championship.