B.C.’s U20 women’s volleyball squad will have a definite UBC Okanagan flavour as it takes to the court for competition this summer.
Five members of coach Steve Manuel’s Heat squad have been selected to the provincial team’s roster.
CIS all-rookie team and Canada West all-star, setter Emily Oxland (North Vancouver), middles Katy Klomps (Surrey) and Katie Wuttunee (North Vancouver), and outside hitters Brianna Beamish (Surrey) and Kelowna’s own Kaitlynn Given will play for Team B.C.
Training will be held in Kelowna prior to the program’s departure for Florida where the team will represent B.C. internationally at the USA Volleyball High Performances Championships, July 23 to 27.
The team will continue training in Florida until heading directly to the 2013 Canada Summer Games Aug. 2 to 18 in Sherbrooke, Que.
“Playing in the Canada Summer Games is special opportunity and is something that I encourage all my eligible athletes to participate in,” said Heat women’s volleyball head coach and reigning CIS coach of the year, Steve Manuel. “The games only happen once every four years so only a very select few will have a chance to play in it.
“In September these athletes will come into training camp for the Heat in mid-season form after the amount of top level competition and training they will undergo over the next six to weeks,” continued Manuel, “and with the schedule being released for Canada West yesterday I’m already excited for the season to start.”
Along with the five athletes from the Heat earning roster spots the university based out of Kelowna will also send Becki Kosinski, Heat assistant coach, and Michelle Laviolette who has been a student trainer with the women’s volleyball program these past two seasons. Becki has been with the Team BC program for the past two years and coach Manuel indicates she will play an instrumental role with the team. Laviolette will travel to Florida and will be tasked with keeping the team healthy during training.
Steve Manuel has also been able to confirm a sixth member of his team will participate in the upcoming Canada Games as Megan Festival has earned a spot on Team Alberta and will go toe to toe with her Heat teammates this summer. Megan, an outside hitter, has played one year for the Heat and was a 2012 graduate of Calgary’s Western Canada High, she still calls Calgary home in the summer.
The team will utilize several secondary schools in Kelowna for training over the next two weeks. Normally the team would be hosted at UBC’s Okanagan campus’ gymnasium. However the gym floor is being resurfaced to accommodate new lines instituted by FIBA basketball.