EDMONTON – MacEwan women's volleyball student-athlete Haley Gilfillan has been named the Sutton Player of the Month for November.
The middle blocker produced 63 kills in 26 sets played with an efficiency north of .410 for the month. In eight November matches, she had just eight attacking errors on 126 attempts.
"I think that was just a big focus for me coming into this year – if I can't get that big swing, I'm just going to focus on putting it in play," said the fifth-year senior. "That way I can still put their team out of system and it doesn't shoot us in the foot.
"That was a goal of mine going into this year, so hopefully I continue it in the second semester."
Gilfillan added 17 service aces, 24 digs, 25 blocks and accounted for 93.5 points as the Griffins went 6-2 in eight games during November. They enter the semester break on a six-game winning streak and are tied for fourth in the Canada West standings at 8-4.
"I think we just have a really good team cohesiveness," said Gilfillan of their recent success. "We get along really well and are willing to hold each other accountable and push each other to that next level. Most of us have played together for a long time.
"That level of competitiveness we bring to each other in practices directly correlates to how we're playing on the court. That's definitely been helpful for us and probably why we're so successful recently."
Gilfillan feels the team's success was a big reason why she personally had such a successful month.
"Statistically, we've run one of the most well-balanced offences in the league, so I think that really gives us an advantage and makes it easier for me when the other team doesn't know where Kylie (Schubert)'s going to set the ball," she said. "It gives us opportunities to have more one-on-ones, which is a lot easier to score against than two people blocking you.
"So, I think that was definitely something that helped me out was just how well the rest of the team was doing. Everybody definitely stepped it up for the last month."
As Sutton Player of the Month, Gilfillan wins a free night's stay in the Sutton Place Hotel in downtown Edmonton.