CCAA Player Profile: Keith Marier

Photo courtesy of Mike Marier
It’s been a breakout year for La Cité Collégiale Coyotes leftside, Keith Marier. The first-year respitory therapy student has been turning heads all year long with some impressive numbers, and is now the proud owner of two OCAA Men’s Volleyball records.

The Ottawa native surpassed records for both kills and points in a single season, previously held by Kanitha Boranprasit, who set the record for points with 304 in 2001, and Jason Hernandez, who set the record for kills in 2011 with 257. What’s more impressive is that Marier did this with five games remaining in the season.

Marier broke both the records in a 3-1 loss (19-25, 18-25, 25-20, 21-25) at Durham on Saturday night. He overcame the records with 20 kills, and one stuff block to bring his totals to 277 and 305 for kills and points respectively.

He then added 25 kills and 27 points to bring his totals to 289 and 332 in another 3-1 loss (23-25, 37-35, 22-25, 25-27) against Loyalist on Sunday afternoon.

For most, Marier has appeared out of nowhere. His 5.1 points and 4.5 kills per set are both good for second in the OCAA, sitting behind the offensive powerhouse of Terrel Bramwell, who’s sitting at 5.7 and 7.0 for kills and points. He also sits sixth in the CCAA in kills. But those who him well, know otherwise.

He was a highly touted athlete in his club days with the Ottawa Mavericks Volleyball Club. Marier go-to player on the leftside for the Mavericks, which included players such a Jori Mantha (2011 CIS All-Rookie team, McMaster), Chris Spack (McMaster), Phil Goyer (Queens), Marc Begin (McMaster), and Ian McAlpine (Algonquin). He even led his high school Samuel-Genest to their first ever excursion to OFSAA for men’s volleyball.

Marier hit a big speed bump towards the end of his 18U season when he was left bedridden with mono. The sickness forced him to miss provincials, and kept him out of all practices but the last one before 18U Nationals in Abbottsford, B.C. Out of practice and 15 lbs lighter , Marier was a shadow of his former self at 6’3” and 155 lbs.

Most aren’t aware that Marier was the starting right side for the Algonquin College Thunder last year, athough his first season in the OCAA was definitely one to forget.

Appearing in all 18 matches for the Thunder and 46 sets, Marier’s first-year numbers pale in comparison to the ones he’s putting up now. He only registered 69 kills for a mediocre 1.5 K/G and 89 points for a 1.93 PTS/G. Not exactly what you’d call all-star numbers.

After a sub-par season, Marier was about ready to hang up the shoes and concentrate on school, which is the reason for the school change. However, upon learning that La Cite practiced only three times a week, compared to a very demanding Algonquin program that practices 4-6 times a week, he decided to give it one more shot.

“My drive for volleyball hasn’t changed, but over the summer, I felt I enjoyed it a lot more,” said Marier. “Maybe it was because I knew I was moving forward with my education and volleyball wasn’t the only thing that mattered.”

Another thing that’s changed for the 19-year-old is his position; not only on the court, but within the team. Moving from the rightside to the leftside, which is a more natural position for him, as well as being named team captain for the Coyotes.

“I found a leadership attitude [when I came to La Cite] that I brought with me onto the court,” said the Coyotes Captain. “Instead of fear I feel confidence, even after I lose a hugepoint or get blocked, the only thing I want is another chance to make up for it.”

Marier doesn’t resent his time at Algonquin either. “Playing for Doug [Head Coach for Algonquin] taught me most of what I know about playing at the college level. I do not regret my decision to go to Algonquin.”

With his Coyotes sitting two points behind sixth place George Brown for the last playoff spot and only four matches remaining, don’t be surprised if you see this young man’s name in the headlines again, as he’s sure to add another dimension to his game for the play-off push.