‘Hectic’ can only start to explain the life of Varsity Blues women’s volleyball right side Alina Dormann. That isn’t to say that she’s not enjoying every minute of it. Upon first meeting her, it’s not hard to feel intimidated by her towering six-foot-two stature.
Dormann spent last summer away from Toronto, training in Richmond, British Columbia with Canada’s women’s indoor national team. She found herself a piece of home in her close friend Anna Feore, her teammate on the Blues and the national team. The pair first met while they were playing on the provincial team together in high school. “This past summer I lived in Vancouver with [Anna] and we’ve become closer as friends.”
Whenever the pair aren’t training or studying, they find ways to have fun. As a result, Dormann and Feore founded @george_feoremann_grill, a joint Instagram account with the sole focus of displaying their meals and foodie adventures. The two seem to have a great time together, creating silly captions to accompany the photos. One of the funniest posts is a photo of the two after a game, holding a box of donuts and detaling it as a “high cal, low protein” and “easily digestible” post-game meal.
The tight bonds between each player appear to be a key factor in the team’s past success. With a national championship on the line, there’s no room for frustration or fighting on the court. Dormann places emphasis on the team’s bonding activities, including their nutrition sessions. The trust built off the court translates into teamwork that can be seen on the court, a key factor needed for the Blues to earn their second national championship in the past three seasons.
Dormann finds time for her hobbies and friends between classes, as well as practices that can sometimes reach three hours and that occur nearly every day. Maintaining a strong balance between academics and social life can sometimes feel like a challenge while playing on a varsity team.
In Toronto, Dormann enjoys pursuing her love for a nice latte by exploring coffee shops in Yorkville and Kensington Market. Hailing from Ottawa, Dormann explains she didn’t face many issues with her transition away from living with her family. “I really love living in Toronto. It’s super fun and there is lots to do. I’m also close to home and can go back to visit on long weekends.”
As a Life Sciences student, Dormann has to find time to complete assignments and attend lectures. “My majors right now are health and disease and biology.” Her future, like that of many of her peers, hasn’t been fully planned out yet. “I have no idea what I want to do but [school is] super interesting right now,” she adds.
Although school can be stressful at times, she explains the importance of taking time to be with her teammates. “We spend so much time together, it’s awesome to have close relationships on and off the court,” she says. “They are people you enjoy spending time with off the court.”
As a well-rounded athlete, Dormann competed in many sports in her younger years. Track and field, basketball, and touch football are some of the sports she played. Being avidly involved in basketball throughout her time at Brookfield High School was also one of her passions.
Dormann’s stellar high school athletics career was acknowledged when she was named Most Valuable Player in 2013, 2014, and 2015, and Athlete of the Year in 2012–2013 and 2014–2015.
With many star athletes coming from athletic lineage and being trained from a young age, it surprised me when Dormann explained her situation. “My parents both came to Canada from Europe, my dad came from Germany and my mom came from Ukraine.” She explains that although they were both athletic, they never played volleyball. Dormann started playing volleyball in grade eight.
Being involved with competitive volleyball throughout high school, Dormann recounts her travels with the various teams she has played for.
“When I was playing club volleyball we would play a lot in Toronto,” says Dormann. “As I got older we started to go further. And now with the national team, starting to go a little further.”
Dormann has traveled to many countries over the course of her volleyball career, including the Dominican Republic for the 2016 Pan Am Cup. She represented Canada this past summer at the FISU Summer Universiade in Taipei. “It was an amazing experience,” says Dormann. “A lot of hours and hard work, but it’s worth it. Representing Canada is always an honor.”
But the Canadian National Team is not the only goal she has her sights set on. “Personally I want to contribute the best way I can to our goal of being a championship team and winning the OUA championship,” says Dormann.
“We’ve talked a lot about what it takes to be that championship team and every day whether it be the gym or on the court, and we are taking a lot of positive steps towards that direction.”