In Emily Oxland’s first trip to the service line in her first game with the UBC Okanagan Heat, she ripped off an ace against Thompson Rivers.
It was just the beginning of what would turn out to be stellar rookie season for the North Vancouver product who has earned all-star recognition in Canada West women’s volleyball.
“Emily was simply brilliant all season for us,” head coach Steve Manuel said of the 5-foot-10 setter’s performance in 2012-13. “It is unbelievable to me that a rookie setter would be able to lead this young team to a 15-7 record and a tie for third place in Canada West at the end of the regular season.”
Oxland put up some impressive numbers to back her all-star selection. She was first in the CIS in total assists, fifth in assists per set and second in total aces.
Oxland recorded 804 total assists—the highest number recorded in the country since 2008-09.
From the service line she aced her opponents 46 times—a new CW single season record—number two in the nation and tops in Canada West, at 0.52 per set she ranks tenth in the CIS and fourth in Canada West.
Oxland was also extremely durable for her squad playing in every one of the Heat’s 88 total sets. “Emily was the difference in several matches this season;,” Manuel said. “She is a leader, a true competitor and simply a winner.”
Manuel coach of the year
In just the program’s second season of CIS competition, Steve Manuel guided the UBC Okanagan Heat women’s volleyball squad to winning record and a Canada West playoff berth.
As a result, Manuel has been named the Canada West coach of the year.
Manuel directed his team to a 15-7 record, nine wins better than 2011-12, good enough for a third-place finish and a first-round home playoff series vs Mount Royal.
In his 12th season at the helm of the Heat, Manuel is no stranger to the coach of the year award, having earned the honour in five of his 10 years in the BCCAA (now known as the PACWEST), and a three-time winner of the national coach of the year in the CCAA (Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association).
“UBC Okanagan is very fortunate to have Steve Manuel leading our women’s volleyball program,” says Rob Johnson, director of athletics and recreation at UBC’s Okanagan campus. “He is a great example of a professional coach—thorough technical knowledge of his sport, a gifted instructor and communicator, an honest and successful recruiter, a caring mentor of his student athletes, and administratively very organized. Steve is without a doubt, one of the finest coaches in the CIS.”