Victoria Gorrell will remember the phone call from her coach the rest of her life.
“The first question Coach Rose asked me was, ‘What number do you want?’” she said.
Born in Hamilton, Gorrell, 17, had just learned she would be attending Penn State University on an athletic scholarship. At six-foot-three-inches tall, she will play on the American university’s women’s volleyball team.
“That’s the main goal,” Gorrell said. “Oh, yeah, and the Olympics of course.”
Earlier this month, Tori, as she’s nicknamed, played for the Leaside Thunder, in the first annual 18U girls Ontario Volleyball Association (OVA) tournament. It was held at Saint Elizabeth’s Catholic High School in Vaughan, near Toronto. Gorrell admits most of her sporting prowess has only focused on one thing.
“I have no motivation for anything except volleyball and school, and only school because of volleyball,” she said.
Her childhood friend, Sarah Williams, was also a volleyball teammate at Abbey Park High School and she spotted Tori’s capability from the beginning.
“It was her goal since Grade 6, and she got it in Grade 10. I’m proud of her,” Williams said.
Daenan Gyimah plays volleyball in Ontario Region 5 and she’s spotted Gorrell’s talent.
“I can see why she’s going to be one of the best in her age group,” Gyimah said. “She’s just a smart player. She knows how to use her height to her advantage.”