Dauphin's Tabi Love has been smashing balls professionally for years, and now she's going to do her best to hand off her skills to young ladies who want to make it big... just like she did.
The former Team Canada player and professional athlete will be joining the Queen's University Women's volleyball team as their Assistant Coach.
"I'm very excited for this opportunity," said Love. "It was definitely a really sad moment for me when I decided to stop going overseas to play, but it was time for me to start a family."
"I really wanted to get into coaching, and it just felt like it was the perfect time to make the transition," added Love. "I know their Head Coach because he coached me when I was with Team Canada, and he offered me the position... and I just couldn't turn it down."
Head Coach Ryan Ratushniak is also very pleased that Tabi is set to join the team.
"I think Tabi just brings a very deep volleyball background to Queen's," said Ratushniak. "She has a wealth of experience playing. She's going to be great for our program in terms of bringing that experience and knowledge that she has to help our team succeed."
Just one year removed from what was an excellent professional career, Love feels extra good that she got a job coaching so quickly.
"It was really reassuring, and it kind of reinforced the idea that making the transition now was a good idea," said Love. "I also reached out to some coaches in the US and had a couple potential offers. But, I do think in order to grow Canadian volleyball, I have to stay here."
Last year Queen's went 13-6 in their conference play, and with a good chunk of their core returning, along with some very good recruits and prospects... Love and Ratushniak are confident in the team going forward.
"Winning the OUA conference is a goal for us," said Love. "It's really exciting to be going to a program that has so much to offer not only in athletics but academics as well. I think the strong academic front will be enticing for strong athletes to join the program. Being from Manitoba, I'm also hoping I can use that connection to bring in some strong recruits."
"I think this coming season we're going to be improved for sure," said Ratushniak. "Our style of play will be a bit ahead of last year, and we have some strong recruits coming in. I think this year will be a very good one, and also heading into the future. We're excited about where the program is going."
A Look Back At Tabi's Professional Career:
To say it was a successful professional career for Love would be an understatement. Since grade eight, the Dauphinite has been a part of the Team Canada program.
Love got her real first taste at success playing collegiately in the states. She was a part of the UCLA Bruins team in 2011 that won the NCAA Division 1 National Championship. Professionally she's played in Puerto Rico, Poland, Azerbaijan, and in Germany.
Then in 2017, Love smashed balls at an all-time high... literally. She played in Korea and was the top scorer with the Heungkunk Life Pink Spiders who were the regular season Champions.
During that season, she set a team-record with a crazy 46 points in one match.
Although all of those things are great and things she'll never forget, her favourite volleyball moment came right here in the City of Sunshine.
"My favourite volleyball moment was when Team Canada came to play Peru right here in Dauphin," said Love. "It was such an honour getting the chance to wear a Team Canada jersey and play with the team in the DRCSS... where I spent so many hours growing up. I'm so grateful for everything Dauphin was able to provide me with."
"I hope one day I'll be back, so I can share more and build volleyball in Dauphin, even more, then it already is," she added. "But, I feel to do that... I have to leave and get some more coaching experience and then hopefully I can come back."
On top of being the team's Assistant Coach, Love will also aid in supporting and providing resources to Queen's Varsity and Recreational Clubs.
"I'm really excited for it," said Love. "It'll be my first quote-on-quote real person job since retiring from volleyball. I hear I'll get my own office, so that's really exciting."
"To get a job in an athletics department at a top university... is a dream come true," she added.
Tabi will begin at Queen's on August 20.
AUDIO: Tabi Love: