Megan Romain sets the ball into the air. Her five teammates on the wood floor shout in an uproar as one player smacks the volleyball over the net. Both teams rally the ball back and forth. Supporters stand in awe as Romain jumps up and blocks the ball from flying over the net. Her teammates erupt in joy as the starting setter celebrates winning the set with her team.
“It all started when I was ten and playing for the Durham Attack. The funny thing is they actually cut me the first time. But they ended up feeling bad for the players who didn’t make it and they ended up making another team,” says Romain. “My mom actually coached the other team.”
From one team to another, Romain bounced between two different teams before starting at the OCAA (Ontario Colleges Athletic Association) college level.
“I played three years above my age group so I started playing competitive with the Durham Attack during the under 13 years of age season to the under 16 years of age season, went to the Scarborough Diamonds the next year, returned to the Durham Attack the year after and finished my last OVA (Ontario Volleyball Association) season with the Diamonds before joining the Durham Lords for the 2015-2016 season,” says Romain.
Durham Attack, one of the OVA teams, is where Romain found long-time friend Jayden Kennedy.
Kennedy is now a member of the San Diego Toreros in California and played her under-15-years-of-age season with Romain as teammates on the Attack. The two have been best friends ever since.
Kennedy played three seasons with Romain for the Durham Attack during their under 15 to under 17 years of age seasons.
“Megan was my first friend in the volleyball scene,” says Kennedy. “Although she’s not the biggest player on the court, her confidence and desire to win make her stand out.”
Romain had a great first year as a Durham Lord. She went on to be awarded “Rookie of the Year” in her first season with the Lords. In 18 matches played, she averaged 6.91 assists per set with a 0.59 hitting percentage.
A positive role model has helped Romain as she grows her volleyball career. Her mom, Lesreen Thomas, a former player for the OCAA’s Centennial Colts, has been a huge influence on her volleyball career and coached her daughter during the 2011 summer season.
“I was and still am a volleyball player,” says Thomas, who, in her free time, still plays the middle position recreationally and also played at the same level her daughter is right now.
“I had them with me all the time while I was in the gym so all my kids picked it up at a younger age,” says Thomas.
Now, age 20, Romain is in her second year of eligibility for the Durham Lords. She is studying in the Human Resource program at Durham College, and has made an impact on her team on and off the court.
In her second year, Romain has taken on more of a leadership role and is helping other players, such as Camille Lefaive, adapt to new roles. “She’s an awesome person. Always has such a positive spirit and that’s important because I’ve switched roles into setting. Taking on a new position is tough so she has really become my support system,” says Lefaive. “I consider her my sister.”
Tony Clarke has coached Romain for the past two seasons. During that span, Romain’s team has only lost one OCAA regular season game going 19-1 last season before losing in the bronze medal game. So far the team has been perfect this season with a 15-0 record.
“She is small and plays big,” says Clarke. “Some people underestimate her because of her size but out of no where she’ll come up with a big block at the net.”
Romain continues to draw praise from those around her.
“There is still so much growth with Megan. She works hard and has a great work ethic,” says Clarke. “She wants the best for the team and everyone around her.”
As Romain continues her volleyball career at the college level, she’ll continue to block opponents at the net and make sure her teammates have that perfect set to kill over the mesh. With only three games remaining after last Thursday’s game against the Canadore Panthers, Romain has hopes for her team throughout the rest of the season. “Hopefully I can help my team win a gold medal. We haven’t won one since 2002.”
The ball is in the air for the Lords but with Romain getting used to her role on the team, the road to the finish should for Durham looks to be promising.