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Caledon Citizen's Student – Athlete of the Week: Captain Alyssa Kowal’s sparkling court play leads to consecutive volleyball MVP Awards

By Jim Stewart

Two-sport student-athlete Alyssa Kowal had distinguished herself on two courts of play in her first three years at Robert F Hall Catholic Secondary School.

The Grade 11 Honor Roll student has starred for the Hall Wolfpack's Girls Volleyball team as its Captain three consecutive seasons and has earned MVP honors at the last two Athletic Banquets.

In addition to her leadership and prowess on the volleyball court, Kowal has also performed admirably in badminton.

Kowal came up just short of qualifying for the ROPSSA championship girls singles finals in the 2022-23 season. 

Hall Wolfpack coach Michelle Hayde nominated Captain Kowal for The Caledon Citizen's Student-Athlete of the Week honors and praised the two-sport athlete.

“Alyssa has been a valuable member of the Robert F Hall Girls Volleyball team for the last three years. She continuously strives to improve her performance on the court. Alyssa attends every practice and participates in the spring volleyball club where players of all levels come out to enjoy volleyball. She also encourages other players by offering them suggestions to improve their skills. Alyssa has been captain of the volleyball team all three years of her high school career and received the MVP awards at the athletic banquets for the 2021-2022 and 2022-2023 school years. Alyssa also plays badminton and played in the girls' singles division where she fell just shy of making it to the ROPSSAA finals.” 

Coach Hayde described Kowal's excellence as a student at Robert F Hall CSS: “Alyssa has been a model student that I have had the pleasure of teaching in both Grade 9 and 11. She is dedicated to producing high quality work that always exceeds expectations. Her commitment to education is evident as she has earned a spot on the Honour Roll, with averages over 90% in both her intermediate years. She was also awarded the Grade 10 History subject award for earning the highest mark amongst her peers. She showed her leadership skills through participation in the Pack as well as the Athletic Council last year with plans to join the Pack once again this year.” 

Coach Hayde has had the unique opportunity to both teach and coach this week's Student-Athlete of the week. What impresses the teacher-coach the most about the Grade 11 student is a combination of athleticism and a key cardinal virtue.

“Aside from her strong athletic ability, I'm impressed by Alyssa's humility. She is always ready to learn and readily accepts suggestions for improvement. She vocalizes her thoughts in a kind, courteous way and ensures those around her feel valued and respected.”

A recent superb serving performance by Kowal was presented as Coach Hayde's highlight from this volleyball season.

“Our last home game was played against Notre Dame on January 17, 2024. We were down a couple of points as the game neared its end. We got the ball back at 20-22 and it was Alyssa's turn to serve. Every serve had power and placement making them difficult to return. Her next five serves brought the 2nd set to a close and finalized the game victory for the Wolfpack.”

Alyssa Kowal took time from her busy schedule of Semester 2 studies and prepping for the Spring Badminton and Volleyball seasons to answer our interview questions:

Caledon Citizen:  What qualities did you demonstrate in your sports season to earn Student-Athlete of the Week honors?

Alyssa Kowal: “I believe I show qualities associated with leadership such as determination and perseverance which are important to show as a team Captain. As well as my positive mindset towards the sport, volleyball is a game of mistakes, once you make one you have to focus on how to reset yourself and work with your teammates to correct it.”

Caledon Citizen: What were your key statistics and performance moments from the 2023-24 season that you are most proud of?

Alyssa Kowal: “I'm very proud of our team's performance this season with some great competition. Despite some tough losses, we continued to work hard and we bounced back earning us some well- deserved wins. In one of our games this season, we were down five points in the set, the other team was close to game point, I served five in a row and the team gained the five points we needed to win the match, super amazing comeback.” 

Caledon Citizen: In addition to your high school sports team(s), what other community teams do you play for and at what level?

Alyssa Kowal: “In addition to playing school volleyball, I have played Club volleyball for the last four years for Georgetown Impact Volleyball Club with my team 17U Empire.”  

Caledon Citizen: How would you describe yourself as a student at Robert F Hall? To which sports teams and clubs do you belong? Honour Roll? 

Alyssa Kowal: “I would describe myself as a very determined student who understands the importance of hard work and prioritizing. I was awarded Player of the Year for Junior Girls Volleyball for the 2021-2022 and 2022-2023 seasons. I was also part of the Varsity Badminton team, slotted in the highest division for the ROPSSAA Qualifiers and came third place. I have received Honour Roll awards for my academics in Grade 9 and Grade 10 as well as the award for the highest mark in Grade 10 Canadian History.” 

Caledon Citizen:  What are your post-secondary plans regarding prospective academic/athletic destinations?

Alyssa Kowal: “My plan is to attend university to study Commerce, or anything related to business. I would like to become an accountant/CPA as my future career. I also am hoping to gain attention from University volleyball coaches and play for a varsity team.”

Caledon Citizen:  Who is your role model in terms of the person you admire the most?

Alyssa Kowal: “My role model is my Mom because of her consistent faith and support in me. Whether it's about school, volleyball, or life, my Mom is always there for me. She works full time and has shown me the value of hard work, determination, and courage through her life and career. She inspires me every day.”

Caledon Citizen:  How do you feel about being nominated as The Caledon Citizen's Student-Athlete of the Week?

Alyssa Kowal: “I am so very honored to be nominated as the Caledon Citizen's Student-Athlete of the Week, I am still so surprised. Growing up in Caledon East, I have seen other athletes being recognized and never believed that one day it would be me. Thank you, I am grateful for this opportunity and the recognition that I have been given, all because of the sport I love to play with my team.”

If you would like to nominate a local student-athlete for The Caledon Citizen's Student-Athlete of the Week, please contact Jim Stewart at  It's our pleasure as a community newspaper to promote the achievements of local student-athletes who contribute mightily to their school communities both in academics and athletics.



Post date: 2024-02-29 12:34:28
Post date GMT: 2024-02-29 17:34:28
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