Video Spotlight - Alicia Perrin

LANGLEY, British Columbia - In September of her rookie season, Trinity Western middle Alicia Perrin wrote in her volleyball journal that her goal for the season was “to make the travel squad.”

With only 12 players who travel to road games, the 6-foot-2, Creston, B.C. product was pining just to get a seat on the plane.

But by Oct. 29, when the Spartans opened their season on the road against the then three-time, now four-time, defending national champion UBC Thunderbirds, Perrin all but made a mockery of her preseason goals.

On a Trinity Western team that would go on to be ranked No. 1 in the CIS for the first time in the program’s history before ultimately finishing the season with a bronze medal at the national championship, Perrin was not only traveling, but in her first ever Canada West game, she was in the starting lineup.

And that early season success snowballed into one of the greatest individual seasons a first-year women’s volleyball player has ever had donning Spartans blue and yellow.
Perrin started every game that year, finished second in the conference in blocks with 1.26 per set, finished ninth in Canada West in hitting percentage at .250 and, after making a major readjustment to her season goals, became just the second Spartans women’s volleyball player, along with Saralyn Raugust in 2004, to win the Canada West Rookie of Year.

“My first year was pretty awesome,” said Perrin. “I feel that I improved a lot. It was sweet to actually have a legitimate coach. In Creston I didn’t really have strong coaching. Here, I feel I’ve developed so much.”

Following her standout rookie season, Perrin kept checking off tasks on her to-do list. First she made Team Canada’s FISU training camp and then, after month of training in Manitoba, she nabbed a spot on the travelling FISU team that competed at the 2011 Summer Universiade in China.

While in China, Perrin got to play in three of Canada’s six games – against France, Sweden and Chinese Taipei – and she helped the red and white to a win in each one.

“It was cool to play internationally. I got to play a lot of the best college level players in the world. My blocking got a lot better just knowing that you can’t cheat ever at that level. And I just learned never to give up on getting to a block.”

Upon returning to Trinity Western for her second season, Perrin has taken her game to yet another level.

With the loss of outside hitter Kara Jansen Van Doorn to graduation, Perrin has been shouldered with the bulk of the Spartans hitting load. But that’s been just fine for Spartans star middle. Through four games this year, she is second in Canada West with a .438 hitting percentage and is tied for sixth in the conference, with teammate Amy Leschied, with 3.21 kills per set.

“I feel like I am a lot more efficient with hitting,” Perrin said. “I just want to be all-around consistent but most of all I just really want to win.”

And you get the feeling that whatever Perrin, who talks in a rather frank manner, wants, she will eventually get.

When she was looking at her university options, she chose Trinity Western because she knew she wouldn’t have to redshirt and she would get the chance to play right away. So she marched to Langley to the beat of her own drum.

“I came and I signed on the spot,” Perrin said. “I didn’t even call my parents. I’m the kind of person that when I want something it doesn’t really matter what other people think. It’s my choice.”

And it’s that inner drive that most certainly has helped reap Perrin so much success. And now, while winning as a team is quite clearly her top priority, her latest individual goal is to break Trinity Western’s single-match blocking record. Last year in a mid-November game against Regina, Perrin came one block shy of tying the Spartans record of 12 blocks in a match, which is currently held by both Dayna Jansen Van Doorn and Rhonda Schmuland.

This year, she hopes 13 is her lucky number.

But with the type of game she plays, it seems breaking the record is likely more of a when than an if. And that’s largely because her aggression and toughness at the net has been grooming for years.

Growing up with an older brother like Gord Perrin, who is playing professional volleyball in Turkey with Izmir-based Arkas after a three-year career at Thompson Rivers University, she learned the art of not backing down.

While “balloon volleyball” was often a sport of choice in the Perrin basement, Gord also enjoyed the sport of “put your younger sister in the corner and whip balls at her.”

“He hit balls at me and he’d be like, ‘don’t blink, don’t blink.’
Maybe that’s part of the reason my dad used to always tell me that I played volleyball like a boy. It was because of my brothers.”

That conditioning has no doubt helped her dominate in the always-physical Canada West conference.

But as she gears up for the Spartans home-opening weekend - one in which she hopes to build upon her impressive early-season start, Perrin had better keep a pencil and eraser handy. Because at the pace she’s going, her next goals, whatever they may be, and, down the road, ultimately her aspirations of playing for Team Canada and, eventually professionally in Europe, may become a reality sooner than she had originally penciled in.  

-TW-

Last Updated: 2011-11-18
Author: Mark Janzen