Lock, stock: Reid Halpenny

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Reid Halpenny

Jonas Hrebeniuk

TEACHING YOU HOW TO REID. Mustangs rookie Reid Halpenny will teach you a lesson you won't soon forget if you step on the hardcourt with him.

Reid Halpenny, a first-year engineering student and left-side hitter for the Mustangs men’s volleyball team, has a new accomplishment to add to his impressive resumé. Last week, he was named to the Ontario University Athletics all-rookie team.

“Whenever you’re noticed for the hard work and dedication you put into something, it makes those accomplishments that much better,” Halpenny says. “It’s a real honour and I’m glad I made some impact this year.”

The accomplishment fits nicely with his pre-university achievements, including two provincial championships, a national silver medal and the honour of being outgoing Team Ontario captain.

Yet according to Mustangs head coach Jim Sage, Halpenny struggled with the transition to university athletics.

“Reid took a while to come up to speed,” Sage says. “But by the start of the second half of our season, Reid had stepped it up and was able to contribute significantly.”

Being a former teammate of three of Western’s other four rookies helped him adjust.

“It was nice to play with guys I know,” Halpenny says. “To see friendly faces my first year.”

Second-team OUA all-star and co-captain Andrew Hinchey thinks Halpenny could take his place after he graduates next year.

“Reid definitely has the potential to lead Western in the future,” Hinchey says. “He has very high expectations of himself. I know he will continue to set the bar higher and do what it takes to reach the next level.”

Sage shares Hinchey’s enthusiasm.

“[Halpenny] is very athletic and has a huge upside,” Sage says. “His hunger to improve and his will to win are very hard things to bring out in athletes. He’s very hard on himself. He refuses to lose.”

Halpenny is ready for whatever the future holds.

“The decision will be up to Jim and the future team,” he says. “If I never become captain, I’ll do my best to fill the other roles that every team needs.”

The Exeter, Ontario native was embraced with open arms from the beginning.

“They accepted me when I arrived as the kid who was recruited from Exeter, who was nervous and excited to play for a team,” Halpenny says.

Though a small town, Exeter gave Halpenny a comfortable atmosphere.

“It was where I grew up,” he says. “It was where my Dad first taught me to play volleyball and a place I can call home.”

Even though the Mustangs fell short of a championship, the team remains optimistic for next season.

“A new season brings a blank sheet to every team,” Halpenny says. “We have a large group of returning players and hopefully a good group of rookies to make our team as strong as we can possibly be.”

Of course, Halpenny is part of the equation.

“Reid is crucial to our continued success,” Sage says. “He will be relied upon heavily as a passer and strong outside hitter for years to come.”

Western finished the regular season 14-6, losing to York in the playoffs. During the season Halpenny had three service aces and 64 kills and averaged 1.82 points per game.

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