What led Orteza to RRC and what playing for the Rebels means to her

By Jake Maurice

Chloe Orteza celebrates after a point in the 2019 MCAC championship game./HEIDI MARTENS

Almost a year after helping guide the Rebels women’s volleyball team to their first-ever Manitoba Colleges Athletic Conference championship title, captain Chloe Orteza shows no signs of slowing down.

With her final year at Red River College underway, The Projector sat down with Orteza to hear about her journey as a student and athlete at RRC.

The Projector: Why did you transfer from the University of Winnipeg to RRC?

Orteza: The main reason I transferred from the U of W to RRC was to attend the nursing program. I knew I wanted to be in this program, I’d heard so many positive things and knew they produce high-quality nursing graduates.

The Projector: What led you to nursing?

Orteza: Initially, I was so set on a path in kinesiology for my studies. I knew I wanted to work in healthcare, but I wasn’t quite sure what area. I never thought in a million years I’d want to be a nurse. I followed in my family’s footsteps I guess you could say.

The Projector: What do you mean by “following in your family’s footsteps?”

Orteza: A few of my close family members are in the field. My mom and grandmother are nurses, and my grandfather was a doctor. They were the ones who inspired me to give nursing a try.

Orteza serves up a ball during the 2019 MCAC championship game./HEIDI MARTENS

The Projector: Once you got here, what led you to the Rebels volleyball team?

Orteza: The biggest motivator was that I really missed being a part of a competitive team and being immersed in the volleyball world. I was hesitant at first when my family suggested I try out, but then thought ‘why not?’ Also, I wanted to follow my dad’s path by becoming a Rebel. He was an All-Canadian setter back in his RRC days.

The Projector: What helps you balance school and sports?

Orteza: Honestly, volleyball is what helps me balance school. It gives me a mental break from that area of my life. When I’m overwhelmed or stressed, I can always count on a practice or game to help focus my mindset on something else…the girls on the team are one of my biggest support networks.

The Projector: As a captain, what are the important lessons you want to pass on to your teammates?

Orteza: The most important lesson…is to never doubt yourself. Always focus on working hard and you’ll be able to achieve your goals.

The Projector: So, you’re now on your third and final year with the Rebels. What has volleyball taught you?

Orteza: I’ve learned are that you never stop learning and growing because there’s always something more you can be doing to better yourself, on and off the court. Also, teamwork makes the dream work. I know it’s corny but working as a cohesive unit is how you achieve and reach bigger and better goals. Finally, cherish the small moments, because time really does fly by.

Last year’s MCAC championship was the first women’s volleyball title in RRC school history. HEIDI MARTENS

The Projector: What was your experience helping RRC win its first-ever MCAC women’s volleyball championship last year?

Orteza: It was an incredible experience. It’s an honour to be a part of the team that won the first women’s volleyball championship in RRC history. The rush of winning inspires me to work even harder to accomplish it again.

The Projector: Quick thoughts on the season so far?

Orteza: So far, I think we are still learning and growing as a team. Each day, we’re putting in the work to become a contender, chipping away at every practice and game in pursuit of the “W”.

The Projector: This is your last year at RRC. What are your hopes, in volleyball and beyond, after graduation?

Orteza: In volleyball, my biggest dream is that we get to defend the championship title this year, but I know we first have to focus on the small steps to reach that level. After my final year as a Rebel, I hope to continue being a part of the Filipino community playing in league and NAVA. As for school, I hope to graduate from RRC with a bachelor’s in nursing, eventually head down to the US to work.

The Projector: One last question: what would you say to any females thinking to join the Rebels volleyball team?

Orteza: Definitely do it. I know it may seem overwhelming with school, but it’s definitely worth it in the end. Joining the Rebels’ family has given me so many positive things, from life-long friendships to helping me grow as an individual. I don’t know where I’d be without it.