Field quit dancing for volleyball

KEN WIEBE, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 6:25 PM ET

OSAKA, Japan - Long before Marisa Field found volleyball, she was a ballerina in the ballroom.

Now a four-year veteran on Canada's national women's volleyball team, Field learned to perform in public during countless recitals back home in Kelowna, B.C.

Field only started playing volleyball in the eighth grade, but being light on her feet from all the dancing helped her pick up the sport quickly.

"I danced from when I was three-years-old and I actually quit because of volleyball," said Field, who had five points in Canada's 3-0 loss to Russia on Sunday. "I was a jazz and ballet dancer. I really loved performing. All the recitals stand out for me. The dance school I went to was pretty elaborate. We had elaborate costumes and elaborate shows and it was a big deal.

"I've always liked the big crowds and things like that. It's the same with me for volleyball, I always get pumped up for the big games. I'm rarely ever nervous for games and I definitely think my co-ordination gained with dancing. It was a big factor."

Field actually liked basketball better when she was younger, but her mom pushed her to go into volleyball.

Turns out it's a good thing that she did.

Field, who has a chemistry degree from the University of British Columbia, began to excel in volleyball during the 10th grade, when she made the B.C. provincial team for the first time.

"That's when I thought, maybe I can do this," said Field, who is 6-foot-2. "I was pretty raw, as they called me back then. I was tall, which was pretty much what kept me in any sport. In Grade eight, I started to get taller than everyone else and by Grade 9, it was substantial."

The only downside was that the busy volleyball schedule left her with little time to do other extracurricular activities.

"I gave up basketball first and I was still dancing and playing volleyball, but it was too much," said Field, a 23-year-old who will play professionally in Germany this season. "I figured I'm never going to become a famous dancer or anything, so I went with volleyball."

Field isn't afraid to express herself on the volleyball court either.

"As a player, she brings a lot of emotion," said Team Canada head coach Arnd Ludwig. "Her biggest strength is her blocking and she's made great progress this year with her attacking this year."

Canada returns to action Monday night at 11 p.m. against 2-1 Turkey.

ken.wiebe@sunmedia.ca


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