Caleb Funk, a 6-foot-7 middle from Strathmore, Alberta, has joined the UBC Okanagan Heat men’s volleyball freshman class for 2017-18.
Funk comes to the Heat after three seasons each with the Strathmore High School Spartans and the Canuck Stuff Volleyball Club.
As a Spartan at Strathmore, where he also played hockey and baseball, Caleb was named his volleyball team’s Rookie of the Year in 2014-15 and Most Valuable Player in 2016-17.
In his first season with CSVC in 2014/15, his team were champions in the Best of the West tournament, finished second in the provincial tournament, and were fifth at that year’s national tournament.
In 2015-16 he finished third in the provincial tournament, and second in Tier Two-Division One at the national tournament. Funk’s last season with CSVC, 2016-17, he led them to a gold medal at the provincial tournament.
In 2016, Caleb finished third at the National Team Challenge Cup as a member of Team Alberta, and was selected for the Youth National Development Program.
Asked why he chose to come to UBCO, Caleb says the decision was made with an eye to both athletics and academics. “I chose UBCO because of their developing men’s volleyball program and I want to be part of the group of guys that turn Kelowna into one of the top programs in the country,” Funk said. “I also chose UBCO because of the high level of academics they offer while still being in a smaller university.”
As a student at UBCO, Funk plans to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree while majoring in International Relations.
As an athlete, Caleb feels ready to take the step up to Canada West competition. “I am extremely excited about this upcoming season and seeing what this team can do. I look forward to being a strong presence in the front row, and growing as a volleyball player,” Funk said.
UBC Okanagan men’s volleyball head coach Brad Hudson was full of praise for the incoming freshman. “Caleb is a prototypical Canada West middle blocker. He is big, strong, and has a great motor. He is also a humble, tireless worker who I am certain will maximize his gifts. It’s also quite clear he is a terrific teammate and will make every effort to better those around him.”
Funk is one of two middles that have committed to UBCO, the other being Shawn Zhao from Richmond’s R.A McMath.
The upcoming season schedule for the Canada West volleyball team will be released on Wednesday, June 21. Check for details at goheat.ca.