The name Laura Hale brings back memories of the most successful years of Cougar Womens Volleyball.|
"I'm committed when I choose to commit to something," says Hale.
From 1987 to 1992, Hale, who is from Tisdale Saskatchewan, committed herself to playing for the Cougars. She became one of their greatest players ever.
Hale still holds numerous Cougar team records including the records for kills in an single season (707), digs in an single season (917), aces in an single season (61), and digs in an single match (42).
She played two summers with the junior national team, and had a try-out for the senior national team.
Hale states the Cougars loved to beat the universities like the University of Calgary who put a lot of money in their sport programs.
"We were the small little team from Regina Saskatchewan. We felt like we had something to prove," says Hale.
Hale points out that the Manitoba Bisons's winning tradition was always in the back of the Cougar's mind. Hale states it was a big deal when the Cougars defeated the Bisons.
"It was always a challenge to beat them (the Manitoba Bisons)," says Hale.|
Hale's greatest memories of her Cougar days occurred when the Cougars appeared in the CIAU championship twice. Hale also fondly remembers when the Cougars were first ranked as one of the top three teams in Canada.
"I took PAS, which seemed like the natural thing to take," says Hale.
Hale graduated in 1992 out of the faculty of Physical Activities Studies. Hale recalls that she had a lot of close friendships with her peers in PAS and on her volleyball team.
"Everybody that I played with, You have a special bond," says Hale.
Hale points out that things were all business when her and the Cougars other stars like Kerri Buchberger stepped on the court.
"I played a little bit of club (volleyball), but I didn't enjoy it as much (as university volleyball)," says Hale.
"I liked it (volleyball) when it was more structured."
Hale did not like having to deal with club funding, organizing hotel rooms,
| and making sure everyone came out to practice.|
Hale has been very active since her volleyball career ended. She traveled to Central America, learned to speak Spanish, worked as a tree planter, worked as a waitress at Channel One and the Regina Inn, and took a level one basic carpentry class.
"I have a love of life. I'm interested in a lot of things," says Hale.
Hale currently lives in Regina and is once again at the U of R taking three classes dealing with movie set construction. She is happy she will not have to write final exams or buy text books for her classes.
"Practicing with these first year girls reminded me of my first year," says Hale who just played on the Alumni team at the Cougar Volleyball tournament last week-end.
Hale says she misses volleyball. Even though she still has one year of eligibility left, Hale does not plan to return to the Cougars.
She did leave some advise for the current CIAU womens volleyball players.
"Every practice and every time you touch the ball.... give your 100%."