As much respect as Kennedy Snape has for the UBC Okanagan Heat women’s program, remaining in her hometown to play university volleyball was never really part of the plan.
So when the opportunity arose to pursue an education in Alberta’s largest city, the 17-year-old KSS Owls’ libero didn’t hesitate.
With a four-year athletic scholarship in hand from the University of Calgary, Snape will play for the Dinos next fall while studying in the biological sciences program.
“I never really considered UBC Okanagan because I always knew I wanted to live in a bigger city, kind of get out in the world and explore other opportunities,” said Snape, who is in Grade 12 at KSS. “They have a really good science program and I really like (the Dinos’) coach, so I feel like it’s a really good fit for me.”
Snape came highly recommended to U of C coach Natalie Gurnsey by Owls’ coach, Tony Sodaro.
At KSS, Snape helped the Owls to a bronze medal in December at the B.C. 4A girls championship, where she was named as one of six tournament all-stars.
Snape also had a successful club season with the UBCO U17 junior Heat who won the gold medal at provincials under the guidance of Tammy Thomas.
Snape will play club volleyball once again this spring for the Heat junior program, this time at the U18 level.
Dinos’ coach Natalie Gurnsey first saw Snape in Grade 11 as a member of the junior Heat at a tournament in Calgary and was immediately impressed.
“That was all the affirmation I needed to start pursuing Kennedy to become a Dino. Not only is Kennedy a fantastic volleyball player, but an excellent student and young woman that is committed to improving herself every day,” said Gurnsey. “This is what the Dinos culture is built upon, so adding Kennedy to the team will be a seamless transition. We look forward to putting her in a Dino’s jersey soon.”
As for Snape, the next phase her volleyball career and education can’t begin a moment too soon.
“I’m so excited, I can’t wait to go and try something new,” she said. “I feel like it’s the perfect opportunity for me.”
As chance would have it, the University of Calgary Dinos are in Kelowna this weekend to face the Heat in Canada West volleyball action at the UBC Okanagan campus gym. The teams square off Friday at 6 p.m., then at 5 p.m. on Saturday.
The Heat (12-4) are ranked No. 2 in the country, while Calgary (10-6) is sixth in the CIS.