Article courtesy of Robin Wark,
Westman Journal, Jan. 6, 2014
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There was some question about whether Brandon's Sarah Didychuk would play volleyball for the University of Jamestown in the fall of 2013.
The former Vincent Massey standout had missed the 2012 season with three torn ligaments in her left knee. However, she returned to the court and helped the North Dakota school's Jimmies to a North Star Athletic Association conference tournament title. Although she has eligibility remaining, Didychuk is slated to graduate this coming May.
"Sarah's great spirit for her teammates and for competing will be greatly missed," praises Jon Hegerle, University of Jamestown's head volleyball coach. "Throughout all of the work and the challenges she faced, she never lost her joy for volleyball and competition and this is a testament to her perspective and her approach to life. I am truly thankful that Sarah chose to attend the University of Jamestown."
Hegerle felt that towards the end of this past season the 5-foot-10 outside hitter was almost back to where she was before the injury. Didychuk's veteran presence and personality paid dividends for the Jimmies.
"Her return was crucial in our successes as she provided a strength of spirit and a joy for competing that our team fed off of," Hegerle says.
Didychuk averaged 1.55 kills and 0.62 blocks per game in her final season. On senior night, Didychuk sparked the team in the third set to secure a sweep of Dakota State University from Madison, S.D. Didychuk had three kills, four blocks and two digs. The Jimmies' senior class, including Didychuk, racked up 96-44 record, including going an impressive 33-4 at home, during the past four seasons at the University of Jamestown.
"Sarah was a high-energy, explosive outside hitter that always competed hard and played the game with reckless abandon," Hegerle says. "She was a three-year varsity player on three conference championship teams. She was instrumental in these successes both on and off the court."
Didychuk will certainly fondly remember her days competing for the Jimmies.
"The Jamestown volleyball program is amazing," says Didychuk. "The team is like a family and I've made some of my best friends on my team. I've really enjoyed competing with the Jimmie girls."
During her time competing on the volleyball court, Didychuk has been backed and encouraged by her parents, Stefanie and Don Didychuk.
"They've supported me throughout my 10 or so years of playing volleyball and they've always believed that I could do whatever I put my mind to. I loved when they would drive down for my games."
While her university volleyball days are over, Didychuk is preparing to move on with her life after academic success at the University of Jamestown. The standout student majored in math with minors in chemistry and psychology. She studied at the University of Jamestown on the prestigious full-tuition academic Wilson Scholarship. Didychuk earned various accolades for her academic success, including being named a 2011 Dakota Athletic Conference Scholar-Athlete. In 2013, she was named in the Who's Who in American Colleges and Universities publication. Didychuk was also a member of Psi Chi, a psychology honor society. She has already started applying to become an RCMP member.