Daniel Lysack started playing volleyball in grade seven, but it didn’t become his focus until grade nine.
“At that point in my life I was kind of involved in whatever sports I could be involved in,” said the 21-year-old.
He grew up in Brandon, Manitoba playing hockey, soccer and basketball, but all those stopped in grade nine when he chose to put more time into volleyball.
Lysack said he used to play left side, but as he got older other players were getting a lot taller than him. With the height differential and his defensive abilities, Lysack made a position switch when he was in grade 10.
“Attacking is fun and stuff, but that went away when I transitioned to libero,” he said.
Lysack said switching to libero made sense because defence was always his strength. The defensive aspect of volleyball is now his favourite part of the game.
“I really like the quick reaction of digging balls, beating tips and all those things,” said Lysack. “I really like where you’re just kind of waiting and then you have to react, and that instinct without really thinking about it, that’s what I really like.”
Lysack is now contributing to the defensive culture at Canadian Mennonite University, and Blazers head coach Don Dulder said he’s a real asset to the team.
“He’s our defensive quarterback,” said Dulder. “… He is very good at his back row court positioning and he leads by example.”
Dulder said the libero position is often overlooked from the outside, but teams appreciate having a consistent libero like Lysack.
Lysack said he never planned on playing a full five years at the U SPORTS level, the league his hometown Brandon Bobcats play in, and decided playing for CMU at the MCAC level was the right fit for him.
“I had a sister that was already at CMU,” said Lysack. “And I talked to the coach and came to a practice.”
That practice led to Lysack joining the team and enrolling in CMU’s new science program.
Lysack said he always planned to go to med school after completing his undergrad, which is why he chose to play for less years in the MCAC.
Lysack will be graduating with a Bachelor of Science this year and if all goes according to plan, he will be starting med school in the fall.
The third-year libero said he isn’t set on a specific job after med school, but he’s knows he wants to work in the medicine field.
“I’ve kind of liked the aspect of medicine where you get to interact with patients and you get to help people,” said Lysack.
The Blazers are currently tied for first place in the MCAC standings, with one game to play before the MCAC championships. Lysack will be playing to end his MCAC career with a league title.