This October, UBC Okanagan’s volleyball teams will kick off their sixth season in the Canada West conference.
And while the Heat women will be looking to maintain their presence at the fore of the national stage, the men’s squad will be working to return to the Canada West postseason for the first time since their debut season of 2011-12.
The 2016-17 schedule features another 24-match slate, a marathon by general CIS standards, that the Heat are familiar with after the previous season.
The home schedule has an interesting feature for Kelowna fans. The Heat will host a single weekend of competitions once a month, in every month from October through January. The Heat will host on two weekends in February with any post season home dates to take place in early March.
As defending Canada West regular season champions and national bronze medalists, the Heat women will be looking to stay on top despite having six of their core athletes graduate at the end of last season.
And the men, after 10 wins in the last two seasons combined, will once again attempt to capture a post season berth, a first since 2011-12, will feature a core group of senior players to contend with.
The Heat will open the season up at home for the second straight year when the Brandon Bobcats visit the Okanagan on Oct. 28 and 29.
After a bye week, it’s back to the UBC Okanagan hardwood when the Heat hosts the Manitoba Bisons on Nov. 11 and12.
One of their marquee matchups in 2016-17 will be hosting rival Thompson Rivers on Saturday, Feb.18.
The interior of B.C. rivalry always draws large and electric crowds from both the Kelowna and Kamloops communities every year, the contest on Saturday will follow a Thursday night match between these programs in Kamloops.
For the second straight season UBC Okanagan will have home dates to bookend the season, with their home crowd to aid in any end-of-season chances at the playoffs, hosting the MacEwan Griffins Feb. 24 and 25.
If the either Heat team qualifies for another playoff berth they will begin competition in the Canada West quarter-finals a week later then last year as the post season starts in March. The quarter-finals are set for the weekend of March 3-5, barring a first-place finish which nets the team an automatic bye to the Canada West Final Four and hosting rights. The Final Four will be March 10 and 11.
The Men’s CIS championships will be hosted this year by U of A from March 16 to 18. The Heat women hope to return to the national championship, this year hosted at Ryerson in Toronto on the same weekend as the men.
For more information on schedules and up-to-date game times please visit www.goheat.ca.
All Canada West volleyball games, as well as live stats, can be viewed online at canadawest.tv.