6-foot-1 MacKenzie Wallace is the latest addition to thw UBCO women’s volleyball squad. -Image: Heat Athletics

George Elliot grad joins Heat women

Middle blocker MacKenzie Wallace who came up with the Junior Heat makes move to Canada West

The UBC Okanagan women’s volleyball squad has unearthed another big time local recruit with the addition of George Elliot Secondary graduate MacKenzie Wallace.

The 6-foot-1 middle blocker has played her club volleyball with the Junior Heat Volleyball Club for the past three seasons. She has also trained with the Volleyball Canada Center of Excellence (VCCE) with Heat assistant coach Becki Kosinski.

Wallace brings with her a long list of accolades accumulated over the years at George Elliot and with the Junior Heat Club or playing for her province. She was the recipient of the 2016 Volleyball BC All-Star Award, was on Team BC U16 team in 2015 and the George Elliot Secondary School Athlete of the Year in both 2014/15 and 2015/16.

The decision to stay close to home was not just based on athletics, but on friendship and academics as well for Wallace, who will be studying in the Faculty of Science with a strong interest in biology, this fall.

“The varsity girls have always been so friendly and supportive towards the program’s prospective athletes. These girls demonstrate many of the traits I value in a teammate and a friend,” Wallace said. “Also with UBC being a highly ranked university, I am ensured that I will be properly prepared for my career after graduation.”

Bringing in just three recruits, but all at least six-feet tall, head coach Steve Manuel is excited about Wallace’s addition to his recruiting class.

“Kenzie is a great addition to our varsity roster, she has been in our program for several years now and I believe this is a perfect fit,” Manuel said. “She is an outstanding student athlete, an extremely hard worker on the court and in the classroom.”

Wallace and KSS graduate Sadie Taylor-Parks (middle blocker) both played for the Junior Heat volleyball club and are demonstrating the strength of the club and the local volleyball scene, and how the exposure and training help a player develop for a chance to play at the post secondary level.

The third member of the 2017-18 recruiting class is 6-foot-3 Ann Richards another middle blocker that will be featured as an outside hitter and will transfer from NCAA Division One’s Central Florida.

The Heat will open up the regular season against their fiercest rival, sister school, and defending Canada West and U SPORTS national champions the UBC Thunderbirds on Oct. 20th and 21 at UBC Okanagan.

whenderson@kelownacapnews.com