Dylan Mortensen’s rapid growth in the volleyball world continues as the Swift Current native was named to Volleyball Canada’s Mens National B Team on Tuesday.
The 6’7’’ outside attacker has been in Gatineau, Quebec for a selection camp and made the final roster that will continue to train in Gatineau throughout the summer.
“Obviously it is a huge honour for me to be able to represent not only Saskatchewan as a province, but Swift Current as a city and the University of Saskatchewan as well. It’s pretty amazing that a kid from Swift Current can be on one of these teams. It is a great feeling for sure,” said Mortensen in between training sessions in Gatineau.
Mortensen’s summer may now include the Pan American Cup in Guadalajara, Mexico (June 14-22), the Pan American Games in Lima, Peru (July 25 – August 4), and the NORCECA Champions Cup in Colorado Springs (August 20-25).
Mortensen said the camp began with approximately 40 players and he was amongst the nine who were selected. The roster will be rounded out by a handful of players who are already in the national team program.
Mortensen’s week began with meetings and then was followed by three days of practices and scrimmages.
“In the afternoon on the last day I had my meeting and they must have just liked what they saw and they selected me for the team. It was pretty amazing,” he explained.
The graduate of the Swift Current Junior SunDogs and the Swift Current Comp. Colts volleyball programs recently completed his second season with the University of Saskatchewan Huskies men’s volleyball team. He was named a Canada West conference second-team all-star after leading the Huskies with 3.58 kills per set. Mortensen was fourth in Canada West with 304 kills over 22 matches as the Huskies finished fifth in the regular season with a 12-10 record.
After taking a redshirt in his first season, Mortensen was named the Canada West and U Sports Rookie of the Year in 2017-18.
“It was a great year. I definitely learned a lot from my first year playing and my second year we started to click more as a team. Making playoffs was huge for us before losing some tough games to Mount Royal. It was a good year and a really solid squad. Looking forward to getting better again next year.”
Mortensen had previously planned to work for the summer in Swift Current, plans that changed suddenly this week.
“We’ll do morning practices and lift weights either before or right after. Break for lunch and then practice again in the evenings. We are all just living in apartments here in Gatineau,” said Mortensen, who has been roomed up with Scarborough, Ontario’s Daenan Gyimay, who plays for the UCLA Bruins.
He is already enjoying being immersed in volleyball with the top players in Canada.
“Yeah it’s pretty crazy to see lots of the ‘A’ guys and go practice and be in the gym. Being in that close proximity with them is pretty amazing. It’s a humbling experience for sure to be able to be here.
“I just want to learn everything I can because there’s so much volleyball knowledge here. I will get as much out of my volleyball experience as I can and enjoy being away from home for the next four months as much as I can.”