The offers from outside the province were there, but Christine Kolbuck wasted little time deciding that it was back home where she wanted to take the next steps in her volleyball career.
Kolbuck, a 6-foot middle blocker lauded for her versatility on the court and acumen off it, has officially committed to the UWinnipeg Wesmen women's volleyball program for the 2019-20 season.
Kolbuck, a Grade 12 student at Transcona Collegiate, joins setter Breanne Bazin as the first members of the 2020 recruiting class for interim head coach Phil Hudson. She will enroll in the Faculty of Science and have five years of eligibility remaining.
Hudson likes Kolbuck's versatile skill set, which he said will allow her to find opportunities at more than just one position.
"She has excellent all-around skills," Hudson said. "She can pass, she can set, she can attack from every position in the frontcourt and backcourt. She's very good defensively. She's got a great cognitive mind for the game itself as far as tactics go. So the important thing is she's a very good volleyball player and can have an impact in many different ways for the Wesmen team."
Kolbuck was named a graduating all-star in the A-AA-AAA class of Manitoba high school volleyball, represented the Winnipeg region at the 2016 Manitoba Games and was a 15U provincial all-star in 2017 when she helped Dynamo Red capture the provincial club title. Most recently she's played her club for Cobras, with whom she won another provincial club title in 2018 playing up to the 18U level.
Kolbuck is eyeing a career in the medical field once she's done her schooling and that was something she weighed in when consulting with university coaches on the recruiting trail.
"I was talking to different coaches and academic advisors so I could see if their programs could fit me not just athletically, but academically, too," Kolbuck said. "I want to pursue a pretty intimidating field, so I wanted to be able to fit that into my schedule – both volleyball and schooling."
And while Kolbuck received interest from outside the province, she ultimately jumped at the chance to stay home.
"I was looking for options to stay within Manitoba and it just seemed like I'd be a fit here. ... I started (looking) outside of Winnipeg. I was talking to some coaches in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, some in Alberta," she said.
"… I would say (I knew) when I talked to Phil and he explained to me all the options he had for me and how I could fit here. It just really clicked in my mind that this is where I want to be."