By Jake Maurice, Red River College communications
Women’s volleyball captain Chloe Orteza hopes experience will help guide Red River College to repeat as champions
When Chloe Orteza first arrived at Red River College, she didn’t think she would join the Rebels women’s volleyball team, but her drive to compete was too strong.
“I really missed being part of a competitive team and being immersed in the volleyball world,” Orteza said.
With a push from her family and with the inspiration of her dad, an All-Canadian setter back when he attended RRC, she tried out and made the Rebels in her first year.
Orteza’s family also helped guide her to RRC’s nursing program, which she is set to graduate from in 2020.
She knew she wanted to work in healthcare but wasn’t sure what field. Her mother and grandmother are both nurses while her grandfather was a doctor, and she knew she wanted to follow her family’s footsteps but didn’t think she would follow directly.
“I never thought in a million years I’d want to be a nurse,” said Orteza.
Even though she was attending the University of Winnipeg at the time, once she had settled on nursing, she knew she wanted to get into RRC’s nursing program.
“I’d heard so many positive things [about the program]and knew they produced high quality graduates,” Orteza said.
The nursing program is indeed regarded as excellent, but it also has a reputation as one of the hardest programs RRC offers. It can lead to lots of stress, but Orteza has managed to alleviate some of that with the Rebels.
“When I’m overwhelmed or stressed, I can always count on a practice or game to help focus my mindset on something else,” said Orteza.
“Also, the girls on the team are one of my biggest support networks.”
That support goes two ways, as Orteza is passing down the lessons she learned from volleyball to the younger players.
“The most important lesson to learn is to never doubt yourself,” said Orteza.
“Always focus on working hard and you’ll achieve your goals.”
Orteza hopes these lessons can drive the Rebels to repeat as MCAC champions after the team won in 2019, RRC’s first-ever women’s volleyball championship.
“It was an incredible experience: it’s an honour to be part of the team that won,” Orteza said.
“The rush of winning inspires me to work even harder to accomplish it again.”
The desire to feel that rush again is pushing both Orteza and her Rebels teammates to work harder than ever.
“Each day, we’re putting in the work to become a contender, chipping away at every practice or game in pursuit of the ‘W’,” said Orteza.
“My biggest dream is that we get to defend the championship title this year, but I know we have to focus on the small steps to reach that level.”
When the school year ends, Orteza intends to work in the US as a registered nurse while continuing to play volleyball in the Filipino community.
However, she encourages other RRC students to follow in her footsteps and don the Rebels uniform.
“I know it may seem overwhelming with school, but it’s definitely worth it in the end,” said Orteza.
“Joining the Rebels has given me so many positive things, from life-long friends to helping me grow as an individual; I don’t know where I’d be without it.”