Cassidy Hauta couldn’t have closed one chapter in her volleyball career and entered the next in a more transparent way.
The Saskatoon native and her Holy Cross Crusaders won the Saskatchewan Women’s 5A Provincial Championship with a thrilling 15-11 third set victory over crosstown rival St. Joseph on Saturday. Not 24 hours later, Brandon University announced the hiring of the center blocker / right-back for the 2022-2023 Canada West season.
“It’s a very good week,” Hauta said. “It’s really good (to sign already). I’m really happy that it happened, so I have less stress and I can just go into my club season and have a good season there.”
Hauta had only one chance to win his province’s top prize after the 2020 campaign was canceled due to COVID-19. It was still going to be played out on Holy Cross and St. Joseph after the two met in their city title game last weekend. The Crusaders swept the best of five and then both teams made it through the provincial playoff bracket without losing a single set.
Their first two went to extra points in the big game before Holy Cross pulled away in the bottom of the third.
“It was really great, especially because it’s my last year, it was really good playing with the girls I’ve been playing with for a while and winning this championship with them,” Hauta said.
She played in the middle of her high school team and dresses right for the Huskies Volleyball Club. This is where Bobcats head coach Lee Carter plans to use it, bringing depth to a talented young group of outside hitters.
Hauta said she was in contact with a few other U Sports schools, but the decision was easy after visiting Wheat Town and training with the team.
“The girls were super welcoming and it’s important to have a good team dynamic,” Hauta said. “The coaches were great and it was a great place.
“Once I went to see Brandon, saw the facilities and the gym, and got to work out with the girls as well… I knew that was fine for me. ”
Hauta plans to study psychology and pursue a master’s program in speech-language pathology.
She feels ready for the workload, especially when it comes to volleyball. Hauta was a replacement for Team Sask in 2019, with them on the main roster each of the past two years. She liked the intense training program with two workouts a day, as well as weight training and mental play.
The five-foot-11 forward is a powerful jumper, with a 10-foot point touch and a nine-foot-three block touch. She’s working to get stronger and faster, as well as improving her ability to hit through the bigger blocks she will certainly face in Canada West.
Hauta joins the Elton Sabers away from Laura Ramsey, with midfielders Nerissa Dyer of Barbados and Megan Pickford of Penticton, BC in the rookie class.