The Mounties: Rachel Van Gestel
12/5/2018 10:03:24 AMGrowing up, Volleyball Mountie Rachel Van Gestel’s number one sport was hockey. She picked up volleyball in junior high and when she entered high school, volleyball became the top seed.
“My high school [CEC] had an intensive volleyball program, run by coach Bob Piers, so that’s when volleyball started to take over,” she says.
She began playing club volleyball in the spring in Grade 8 and in the spring heading into high school she faced her most intense moment on the court.
“All of a sudden I couldn’t move my feet,” she says. “I ended up having a stress fracture in my spine.”
She watched her team at nationals that year from the sidelines and returned to the court just six weeks later.
From Lower Onslow, NS, Van Gestel says continuing volleyball in university was an obvious choice for her. She was attracted to the close-knit community at Mount Allison and the small town of Sackville. At 5’11”, she plays power and says her favourite part about volleyball is the team aspect.
“This year is just highlighting the importance of team for me,” she says. “Everyone is clicking and we’ve really come together early on, which has led to a good start. The closer you are off the court, the better you are on the court.”
Although being a student-athlete keeps her schedule busy, she says it has also allowed her to meet a lot of people and get involved on campus.
“It is the connections you make outside of the classroom that really add to your experience,” she says.
Van Gestel switched from Arts to Commerce before the end of her first year and in second year chose the accounting stream. She spent last summer as an intern in Mount Allison’s financial services department.
After graduation she will join KPMG in Halifax, NS and work towards her Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) designation.