The three Attieh sisters of Surrey are all signed to play volleyball at the University of the Fraser Valley next season.
It’s seen as a “major recruiting coup” by the Abbotsford-based program, which welcomes the Pacific Academy graduates from different corners of the world.
Gabrielle Biemond, her married name, is a two-time U SPORTS national champion with the UBC Thunderbirds, and will return to the Canadian university ranks after spending the past two seasons playing professionally in Europe.
Younger sisters Lauren and Talia played for Douglas College Royals in 2021-22, and recently ended a playoff run that saw them win the PACWEST conference title and a silver medal at the CCAA national championships.
Cascades head coach Janelle Rozema is “excited to give the sisters this opportunity, where they’re going to have the joy of playing with each other and make lifelong memories together.”
The coach noted the “quality relationships” the sisters have with each other.
“I’m hoping that will be contagious and seep into our team culture,” Rozema added in an online news release. “We really want a tight-knit culture amongst the women on our team, and I think these three will be a great example of how to fiercely have each other’s backs.”
🏔🏐 | MASSIVE recruiting coup for the Cascades women's volleyball program — the Attieh sisters out of #SurreyBC will join the program this fall!
— UFV Cascades (@UFVCascades) April 28, 2022
The signings send a message that top athletes play for UFV, the coach said.
“I also really value transfer athletes, and these three are transferring from a variety of valuable volleyball experiences which will be beneficial to our team,” Rozema stated.
The six-foot-one Biemond is an outside hitter/middle who played professionally in France for Vitrolles Sport Volley. Her first pro experience was in 2020 with Salzburg-based PSVBG, after spending four seasons at UBC.
“The decision to play at UFV fulfills both personal and athletic goals of mine,” said Biemond, who will pursue a Bachelor of Arts degree.
“It allows me to complete my university degree and return to play in Canada’s top university league while staying close to home. It also holds the invaluable opportunity to play alongside both of my sisters. I am thankful for the chance to join this well-coached, rising program that I hope to have a positive impact on.
Lauren Attieh, a five-foot-10 left side, said she chose UFV “to continue my education and contribute to making a name for this team in U SPORTS,” while the younger Talia Attieh, a six-foot left side, is now at UFV “because it gives me the opportunity to play with two of my sisters, which is very exciting.”