GPRC Wolve's Women Volleyball Megan Koch

Megan Koch (#1)
Photos courtesy Erwin Kuhr
Megan Koch (#1) Photos courtesy Erwin Kuhr

by ACAC Sports Writer Curtis J. Phillips

Her father has nicknamed her Megnado.

"It means kind of a tornado," says Megan Koch of her family moniker.

The Grande Prairie, Alberta native is far from that when it comes to sports.

She is a leader who is calm, cool and collected.

Her sport of choice is volleyball.

Her team is the Grande Prairie Regional College (GPRC) Wolves  of the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC).

Unlike many other former talented high school athletes, who tend to join multiple school sports teams, volleyball has been her No. 1 and only sport, since Grade 10.

"I tried basketball in junior high but didn't like the contact part of it," recalls Koch, now 20 years-of-age. "I was introduced to club volleyball in Grade 8 and then in Grade 10, I ended up making Team Alberta. That same year I was also playing on the high school (Grande Prairie Composite High School) team, the Wolves Volleyball Club and then beach volleyball, so it kind of monopolized my time the entire year."

She would transfer to the newly opened Charles Spencer High School for her Grade 12 year.

"Spencer was just opening, so all of the sports stuff moved over there. So, we were the first grad class, so that was kind of exciting."

An Under-16 Provincial All-Star selection, Koch had sparked interest from various U Sports and college teams for her post-secondary career but the decision was to stay home and play for the GPRC Wolves.

"It was a really hard choice between ACAC and U Sports (then known as Canadian Intercollegiate Sports)," said Koch, who's younger brother Marshall suited up last season for the Wolves' men's volleyball side.

"I decided to stay at home for a couple of years. No regrets as I love playing here and I will definitely stay here for the rest of my schooling."

Standing 5-foot-11, "Six feet with my shoes on," Koch, who is enrolled in Bachelor of Education, had an outstanding ACAC rookie season in 2015-2016, playing in 72 sets while recording 124 kills, 93 digs and 21 blocks for the Wolves.

The Wolves would go on to capture an ACAC bronze medal defeating The Kings University Eagles in Red Deer 25-21, 25-20 and 25-20.

Her second year 2016-2017 (with huge stats at 243 kills No. 3 in ACAC North) would see ACAC North All Conference recognition come her way  with the Wolves moving up a medal at provincials, with silver to their credit after falling to the host Lakeland College Rustlers.

The second-place finish also qualified the Wolves as the ACAC Wildcard team to attend the 2017 Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) Women's Volleyball National  Championships which were held  in Victoria, British Columbia and hosted by Camosun College.

Lakeland Rustlers would claim gold by defeating the host squad while the Wolves placed fourth, falling to Vancouver Island University Mariners.

Koch would be selected a First All-Tournament Team along with teammate Micheller Gauthier.

"It was an amazing experience," said Koch of the trip to Victoria. "It was really competitive. It was my first time going to (CCAA) nationals, so I was taking it all in. I am now excited that we will have the chance to do it again. It was an honour to go last year."

The Wolves will be hosting the 2018 CCAA Women's Volleyball National Championships which will be held March 7-10, 2018.

"We are looking forward to it. I think it is less pressure being the host team. We are lucky that we have the opportunity and we need to do what we can, to get the most out of it."

Koch, will be wearing her customary No. 1 uniform.

Why No. 1?

"I was always the last pick getting the number, so that is what I got."

Asked if she knew any famous professional athletes with No. 1 on their back she replied, "I do not know. A lot of goalies in hockey wear No. 1. So, I suppose it is some goalie."

A quick Google search shows the Top 2 No. 1 jersey wearers to have been basketball's Oscar "The Big O" Robertson and five-time consecutive Grey Cup champion quarterback Warren Moon of the Edmonton Eskimos.

But there are some goalies in the Top 10 with Jacques Plante and Terry Sawchuk.