Home Grown Talent Making An Impact
Zac Ens is 6’ 5” middle from Meadow Lake, SK, and is in his third season with the Briercrest Clippers men’s volleyball team. The home-grown Ens is an intimidating force for every opponent the Clippers face.
Having only played volleyball for five years now, Ens has quickly matured into a great player. He was gifted with a lot of athletic ability, which he has worked hard to refine into tremendous skill on the volleyball court.
His development began at Meadow Lake High School, where he first started playing volleyball. He continued to develop while playing club volleyball for the Saskatoon Volleyball Club – the team he won a Provincial Championship with in 2008. That provincial championship stands out as one of Ens’ favorite moments from his career before Briercrest, along with a personal moment where he served five aces in a row to win Regionals with his high school team in 2007.
“I came because Nigel offered me an opportunity to play here”, said Ens, when asked about why he chose Briercrest, and he has certainly taken advantage of that opportunity. Ens has really started to reach his potential since coming to Briercrest, and notes that the biggest influence in his volleyball career so far has been Briercrest men’s volleyball coach Nigel Mullan. In his first season he battled hard to get some playing time as an outside hitter for the Clippers, and was an offensive force despite fighting through shoulder issues. Last season, he was asked to take on a new role at the middle position, and since buying into that, has really taken his game to a new level.
Ens loves to be an offensive force, saying that his favorite thing to do is “hit a 51.” Ens, who loves to learn from watching others play the game, uses his size and power to his advantage. “I watched a lot of guys play and the style I liked and try to mimic is a physical style.”
And physical he is! “With Zac on the court, it opens up so many good opportunities for our outside hitters, says Mullan. “He just demands so much attention from the blockers on the other side of the net with his attacking ability in the middle. . . . He gives our team an added level of confidence through his ability and huge presence on the court.”
It is not just volleyball that Ens enjoys about Briercrest. He says that he “loves dorm life”, and the relationships he has built here. Currently working on his BA in Business Administration, he also has future plans to do an apprenticeship in heavy duty mechanics when he is finished at Briercrest.
There are a couple of memorable moments that top the list for Ens during his time at Briercrest so far. The first one being “winning a silver medal at the ACAC Championships last year”, and the second one is the great experience he had in his first road trip with the Clippers, as the team went out to B.C. to train with Trinity Western University in his first pre-season. He says that overall, however, what stands out for him about being a Briercrest athlete, is “the solid group of guys I have as teammates.”
In his spare time, Ens likes to go dirt biking, snowmobiling, and hunting. His favorite food is steak, his favorite actor is Denzel Washington, and his favorite book is “Uncommon”, by Tony Dungy. He loves cheering on his favorite team – the Roughriders, and is looking forward to them winning a Grey Cup this year. Ens would also like nothing more than to help his teammates win an ACAC and CCAA gold medal this season.