Heat hosts Bobcats in season openers

UBC Okanagan volleyball teams kick off new Canada West season Friday at the Kelowna campus

Steve Manuel's UBC Okanagan Heat open the new Canada West volleyball season tonight at home against the Brandon Bobcats.

The defending national bronze medalist UBC Okanagan Heat will serve up the new Canada West women’s volleyball season as the No. 3-ranked team in the country.

Steve Manuel’s squad will open the 2016-17 campaign at home this weekend against the No. 9 Brandon Bobcats.

Game time Friday at the Kelowna campus gym is 5 p.m., with the second match to go at 6 p.m. on Saturday.

With the graduation of players such as Katy Klomps, Katie Wuttunee, Breanna Beamish, Kailin Jones and Chandler Proch, the Heat have some big shoes to fill this season.

But with veteran experience coming from the likes of returnees Kaitlynn Given, Emily Oxland, Michelle Jakszuk, Erin Drew and Siobhan Fitzpatrick leading the way, Manuel likes

“I have to say I’m extremely happy with our core of veteran players,” said Manuel. “Anytime you lose the quality of players we did, there are always question marks. But or returning players have stepped up and assumed leadership roles. They’ve all started in big matches in theior careers and know what it takes to win, so I feel like we’re in good hands.”

Based on the preseason alone, the Heat look like they’ll hit the ground running.

UBC Okanagan posted a 7-2 record, including five straight en route to winning the University of Ottawa tournament.

In terms of character, Manuel said this year’s version of the Heat matches up favourably to last year.

“I think what we did Ottawa is what this team’s about,” he said. “We weren’t as sharp as we would have liked and didn’t play great volleyball, but there was just no quit in the. Already, this team has shown tenacity and resilience. They came through when the chips were down.”

Heat men

Under the guidance of first-year head coach Brad Hudson and assistants Dave Risso and Adam Cochrane, the Heat men will be looking to improve on last season’s disappointing 4-20 record in Canada West play.

Gone are key veterans Jim Bell, Leo Schober, Kyle Pankratz and Jeremy Fostvelt.

Leading the way in 2016-17 will be the likes of veterans Alex Swiatlowski, Josh Harvey and Lars Bornemann.

Last year’s top rookies, Eli Risso and Devon Cote, will also be depended on for key contributions.

Like the Heat women, the UBCO men will kick off their Canada West regular season this weekend at their home campus.

The Heat will battle the University of Brandon at 7 p.m. on Friday and 8 p.m.



Just Posted

Kelowna man charged with sex crimes gets closer to trial date

A pretrial conference has been scheduled

Bail for man charged in Kelowna murder

The man charged in a 2013 Glenmore-area murder has been released on bail

Former New Zealand politician attacked in jail

Charges have been laid against an inmate who allegedly attacked Peter Beckett during his trial

Illness numbers grow in Interior Health

GI and RI illnesses reported in Vernon, Lake Country, Kelowna, Penticton and Castlegar

Immunization clinics this week

Meningococcal outbreak prompts vaccines across Okanagan

Fire crews investigating oil sheen on Penticton Creek

Fire crews are working to contain the oil from spreading

Kamloops man cuffed after running from police

Kamloops RCMP say a suspect was arrested after running from police

UPDATE: Grizzly bear trophy hunting over in B.C.

Now only Indigenous people can hunt bears for meat

Warriors head to break after 3-point weekend

West Kelowna rallies in third period Sunday to tie Powell River in last game before Xmas

Star Blue Jays announced for Vancouver ‘Winter Tour’ event in January

Toronto’s pro baseball team heads west for two-day event

UPDATE: ‘Multiple fatalities’ as Amtrak derails over the I-5 in Washington State

13 cars jumped the tracks as train made its first voyage between Seattle and Portland

Mental effects of wildfire still linger in Fort McMurray

‘Resilient, but tired:’ Mental effects of wildfire lingering in Fort McMurray

Climate change hits Winter Olympic preparation

AP Exclusive: Climate change hits Winter Olympic preparation

Calgary Flames thump Vancouver Canucks 6-1

Mark Giordano, Sam Bennett lead the way as Flames thump Canucks 6-1

Most Read