There is nothing more exciting than seeing two great volleyball teams going the distance — to the end of the line — to a five-setter. This weekly column will provide an off-the-court look at those athletes around U SPORTS volleyball, with five sets of questions on five different topics.
This edition features Waterloo Warriors left side Kevin Lebreux. He is going into his second season and is studying Chemistry.
1) It’s game day. What is your pre-game meal?
Most likely I would go with some chicken and rice, or pork and sweet potatoes — just to get good fuel before a match.
2) What is your cheat-day food?
I hate to say it but McDonalds all the way. Whether it be a McFlurry or a couple of cheese burgers, everyone has to cheat sometimes.
3) If you had to cook one meal to impress, what would you be serving?
I would definitely cook some steak, beans, broccoli, and cauliflower to impress — being that it is probably the fanciest thing I can whip up.
4) If you had to pick one meal to eat every day for the rest of your life, what would it be?
If I was going to pick one food for the rest of my life it would definitely have to be burgers, because there’s so many ways to make them and there are so many different types of them.
5) You are hosting a dinner and can invite any person past or present, who is at your table?
Right off of the bat I would want to have Post Malone at the table, being that he is my favourite hip-hop artist. Adding to that, if I could bring one more person it would be Will Ferrell, due to his hilarious acting and sense of humour.
1) What was it about your program that drew you in?
Thinking back, I’ve always been interested in Waterloo itself as a school, and paired with that, I have been continually interested in chemistry. Putting the two together and knowing that Waterloo has a strong science program, it seemed like the perfect fit.
2) What teacher/mentor has been most influential on you, as you grew up in school?
Throughout my high school experience many mentors helped me succeed, but I always looked to two figures in particular; one for volleyball, and the other for both schooling and volleyball alike. The first mentor was Vincent Pichette, former Volleyball Canada assistant coach and FTC head coach. Vince would constantly push me and even when I couldn’t see the greatness in myself, he continued to trust and believe in me. Secondly, the next figure is my dad, being the constant wave of support that never seems to fail, and when all else seems to go wrong, he continually stands to help me succeed.
3) The one academic achievement that you are most proud of is:
The one academic achievement I am most proud of is getting accepted to Waterloo itself, being that it was extremely difficult to keep up with academics during my high school career, due to all of my athletic commitments.
4) Which subject gave you the most difficulty?
During high school — and elementary school as well for that matter — English continued to be the hardest subject for me. The grammar or spelling was never much of a problem, however, writing itself was always the difficult task. In particular, essays seemed to be my worst enemy. It was never a problem writing stories or tales because my imagination could take over, but in an essay the format and structure always hindered me.
5) What is the best advice you received to balance school and sports?
The best advice I’ve received in the past years was again from both my dad and Vince, where they more or less said similar things: work hard now, because you don’t want to pay the price later on. Always trust the process, and never let failure set you back, because when you learn something new, you have to get a little worse in order to get better.
1) What is one fad/trend that you wish would come back?
Oddly enough I would love to see fanny packs make another breakthrough, because not only are they portable, but also come in so many different variants.
2) Everyone has a guilty pleasure song. What is yours?
This is a tricky one, but only two songs really come to mind: Careless Whisper by George Michael and Promiscuous by Nelly Furtado.
3) What is on your Resume Playing on Netflix right now?
To be honest, I don’t normally watch a lot of Netflix, instead I usually drift towards YouTube. But, if I was to name a few shows, it would be Cosmos and Planet Earth
4) What is one fictional place you would want to visit?
If I could pick any fictional place to venture to, it would most likely be Pandora, from James Cameron’s Avatar, due to the vast and incredible nature of everything within the planet.
5) Growing up, what TV/movie/book character did you always want to be?
When I was young I always watched Naruto every Friday/Saturday night on YTV, and was continually drawn in by the fighting and action scenes of the show. This frequently caused me to think I was a ninja, attempting to do all of the actions the characters themselves did.
1) Who is the toughest server you have ever faced?
When thinking about the toughest server I’ve faced, two players come to mind. The first is Danny Demyanenko (McMaster Marauders), due to his control when serving and his unreal shoulder mobility, paired with good power. The second is Ray Szeto (York Lions), due to the fact that some of his serves were absolute rockets, and the others where powerful and consistent.
2) What has been your most memorable volleyball moment in your career?
The most memorable volleyball moment for me was receiving the opportunity to travel overseas to France with the FTC team, playing some of the most talented players in the world — kids my age and pro teams alike.
3) What has been your personal favourite dig/kill/block/assist?
My favourite kill thus far was during the High Performance Championships final in Fort Lauderdale in 2016, where my setter got me a no-block and an almost-perfect set, allowing me to let loose.
As for my most favourite play, it would have to be during our game against Nipissing in Waterloo this past season, where I served and caused an over-bump, allowing my middle to pass, and give my setter the chance to set me a no-block, pipe ball.
4) Developing your game over the years, what was the one aspect that didn’t come as easy to you as others?
The hardest part of progressing in this sport for me has continuously been my passing and defence, being the part of my game that I have worked tirelessly on in the past few years. Transitioning from middle to right side, and finally to left side is no easy task, as I had been a non-passer for most of my career. This change came with great struggle and I wanted to quit many times, but support from others continued to be my driving force and I didn’t give up. Today I can confidently say that I have come a long way from where I was, but I’m very aware that I have much to learn, and will continue to perfect this aspect of my game.
5) Chemistry is a big part of any sport, who was that one teammate that you just clicked with on the court?
Going into this past season I was always close with Matt Mawdsley (#9 on our roster) due to our friendship on and off the court, but throughout the season my captain Jordan McConkey (#15) continued to be a great mentor and friend alike – this made it very easy to play alongside him, no matter the circumstance.
1) You are stuck on an island and you are allowed three items. What are they?
If I’m stuck on an island with only three items I would probably bring a large pot, a lighter and a med kit. The pot would be to cook/boil water to drink, while the lighter would be to light fires, and the med-kit would help to prevent/fix minor injuries.
2) If you had to give a 40 minute presentation with no prep before hand, what would it be on?
If I was to present for 40 minutes off the top of my head, focusing on a single topic, I would probably lean towards creativity and imagination. Whether it be talking about train of thought or telling a story itself, or perhaps how these two factors influence everything.
3) If you could have any superpower, what would it be?
This one question has been on my mind ever since I was a little kid, watching movies and reading comics everyday. Thus, I’ve probably spent an illogical amount of time thinking about this one topic, comparing abilities and what not. After all this time, I think I would want to control water, being that there is an endless amount of uses for that power.
4) What statistic about your life would you want to discover the most?
For my chosen life stat I would definitely want to see the amount of times I’ve hit my head on something, purely for sake of knowing and being able to laugh at how large of a number it probably is.
5) What is a random talent that you have?
I don’t necessarily have a “random” talent, but I can paint really well when it comes to portraits and realistic photographs.