Tristan Simmonds (right) and Lucas Robertson both bring collegiate experience to UBC Okanagan.

Grande Prairie teammates to join Heat men

Albertan recruits Tristan Simmonds and Lucas Robertson to transition to Canada West volleyball

Tristan Simmonds will join Lucas Robertson in making the move from Grande Prairie to play with the Heat men’s volleyball program next season.

Simmonds is a 6-foot-2 left side hitter, who has played three seasons with the GPRC Wolves in the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference.

In his time at GPRC he has been named a CCAA all-Canadian, a provincial all-star, Wolves’ MVP, and was recognized as the GPRC Athlete of the Year.

Prior to joining GPRC, Simmonds played for his high school team at Grande Prairie Composite, and played club ball with the GP Wolves.

In his third and final season of high school volleyball Simmonds earned his team’s MVP award as they finished fifth in the provincial tournament. With his club side, Simmonds finished third at the 18U provincial tournament, where he was named a tournament all-star.

“I am very excited to finish off my last two years of eligibility as a member of the Heat family,” said Simmonds. “I have heard nothing but great things about the volleyball coaching staff as well as the professors at the university.”

Planning to study Human Kinetics at UBCO, Tristan says it was a combination of athletics and academics that convinced him to call Kelowna home later this year. “I am looking to expand my knowledge in the field of bodily movements, rehabilitation, and strength and conditioning,” he said of his hopes for his academic career at UBCO. After his schooling, he plans to work as a nutritionist and as a strength and conditioning coach.

Matching Simmonds’ enthusiasm about joining the Heat, coach Brad Hudson said this about the left side attacker: “Tristan is an explosive athlete. He also brings stability, composure, and a tremendous compete level to our wing group. Tristan has also proven himself to be a leader on and off the court and will support our leadership group, helping to drive our program in its new direction.”

Robertson is a 6-foot-4 setter and brings two seasons of post-secondary experience with him to UBCO. In his first season (2015-16) with GPRC he was named his team’s rookie of the year, as well as Rookie of the Year for the whole of the ACAC. In his second season with the Wolves he earned conference all-star honours.

Born and raised in Edmonton, Lucas put together an impressive resume before beginning his collegiate career. In 2013 and 2014 he was a member of the Golden Bears Grass Roots starting team, and received all-star recognition. With his Strathcona Composite High School he was a silver medalist in the city and provincial championships, and collected a number of tournament All-Star awards.