This week, Kim Bauder will play her final regular season game as captain of the University of the Fraser Valley (UFV) Cascades women’s volleyball team.
“It’s kind of bittersweet,” said Bauder, a Langley resident.
“I love my team. We’ve been through a lot of things, good wins, tough losses, so it’s sad. It’s going to be tough leaving them.”
Bauder is the fifth-year captain of the volleyball team, a left side who is among the Pacific Western Athletic Association (PACWEST) leaders in total offensive points, kills, aces, and digs this season. She is the only player in PACWEST to rank top-10 in all four categories.
She will be missed for more than her athletic skills, Cascades head coach Mike Gilray said.
Bauder was out east, playing for Memorial University in Newfoundland and Labrador when Gilray heard that she might be interested in coming back home. Knowing her talent level from her days in the Fraser Valley club system, Gilray immediately got on the phone.
“As a coach, I couldn’t ask for a better captain,” Gilray told Black Press Media.
“Our program has taken such an amazing turn thanks to her leadership.”
Gilray praised Bauder for her character, her work ethic and her ability to balance multiple demands without sacrificing performance.
“Imagine doing it right every single day,” Gilray said.
“She leads by example.”
Bauder will play her last regular season game on Friday, Feb. 15.
In high school, she said she tried many sports before she realized that she was a “team-oriented person” and concentrated on volleyball.
She isn’t walking away from the sport, she stressed.
“I definitely can’t hang up my shoes forever,” Bauder said.
She is considering a return to beach volleyball.
In high school, Bauder won a U18 provincial beach volleyball title and took bronze at the U18 nationals.
While she has been studying for her degree and competing, Bauder has also been coaching a U17 team in Abbotsford and helping with the coaching at her old high school of Langley Fundamental.
“I like being busy and helping in some sort of way” she said.
Bauder said she plans to pursue a Masters in sport psychology and “big picture, long term” wants to work with varsity athletes.