Championships Men’s Volleyball

U SPORTS sits down with one key athlete, coach, and staff member of each U SPORTS athletic program in our interview series “Getting to know…”

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  • Name: Seth Friesen
  • School: Brandon University
  • Sport: Volleyball
  • Position: Left Side
  • Year of eligibility: 4
  • Program: Science
  • Hometown: Brandon, Man. 

1. What attracted you to Brandon University?

A big part of it was just growing up here. I was looking at two things when I picked university – academics and athletics. I was always really into both academics and the volleyball side of things. I’ve known Grant (Wilson, Bobcats head coach) for a long time and I really respected him as a person and as a coach. My family did a great job of telling me all about the program and I’d grown up coming to the gym here watching the Bobcats play so there really wasn’t any other team that I wanted to play for. So with the really strong athletic program, the small class size and having great relationships with all of my professors here, there’s just a lot of good things and it was an easy decision to make.

2. What’s your favourite memory, and your greatest athletic achievement as a U SPORTS student-athlete?

If you ask anybody on our team that’s pretty easy – the Canada West Final was absolutely unbelievable. Having that many people here cheering us on, and even if we didn’t end up winning that game it would still be one of the coolest moments of my life to have that kind of support. The adrenaline was going the entire match and I barely remember the game. It was just a crazy experience.

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3. Where are you hoping your path will take you after university?

I’ve wanted to be a doctor for a long time. There’s so much to that profession that I am sure I will find it rewarding. Just helping people and having an impact in their lives and the problem-solving aspect to it, there’s just so much to it I find interesting. I hope that there’s volleyball in my life down the road whether it’s coaching or I hope to still play in the next couple years. Volleyball has been such a big part of my life I don’t plan to just cut it out of my life.

4. Who’s had the greatest influence on your athletic career?

If I name a few there’s going to be 10 times more that have made an impact I don’t want to leave out, but there are definitely a few that stand out.

To start with, definitely my parents. My dad has been there since day one, coaching me and calming down when I get frustrated. He’s always been that rock. The teammates I’ve played with have been amazing. I tell people all the time that I’m so lucky to be here in the cycle that I’m here for. The guys here my age and around my age are so good and we challenge each other every day to be better as players and people. And obviously Grant as well. He’s what keeps us all challenging ourselves to be better each day because he does that and it’s something we really look up to.

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5. Who is someone in the sports world, past or present, with whom you’d love to have dinner with? Why?

Roger Federer. I really respect the way he presents himself. The calm, the cool, the classy approach. I think that’s a very important side to being an athlete. I think it’s very important to project yourself in a way that’s professional.

6. What is your pre-game ritual? Do you have any superstitions/idiosyncrasies around preparing yourself for a game?

I’m not an overly superstitious guy, but something that Grant always tells us is to find what works for you and prepare that way for every game. So walking through a game day, I wake up and grab a coffee and prepare for game-day practice. After practice is video and then I go home and quickly eat, nap, and then head back to the gym. I like to be one of the first guys in the team room. It’s quiet and I like that time before the bustle starts. I always put my jersey up over my face and stop thinking for a second. I cut everything out and just stop thinking.

I have two parts to my time here being the academics and athletics, so I always take a moment before a game and focus just on volleyball. I tell myself that tonight is the time to be the best that you can be and stop thinking about everything else.

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7. What’s your go-to song to get pumped up for practice or a game?

We Like to Party by Vengaboys. All the guys like that one. Maybe it will change next year, but that’s been our song for the last two years. It gets everyone going.

8. What’s your favourite social media account to follow?

@BobcatsMVB on Instagram. Great people run it and it’s got some great content. Give it a follow.

9. If you could try another sport, what would it be and why?

I’d like to try pole vaulting. It just looks fun. I mean, anyone who has watched pole vaulting has thought about flying through the air like that and the fall into the mat.

10. What’s the most embarrassing thing that’s happened to you as an athlete?

One day in practice last year on a ball that was set right side, I tried to hit a sharp shot but ended up basically hitting it backwards and hit one of the guys on my side of the net right square in the face. The guys still bug me about it. It was pretty embarrassing but it happens enough that I know I’m not the only one to ever do