KSS senior Tessa Neil will join the UBC Okanagan Heat for the 2015-16 Canada West women's volleyball season.

Tessa Neil to join UBC Okanagan Heat

KSS product wil play for Steve Manuel's women's volleyball squad in 2015-16

It was a toss-up decision for Tessa Neil coming out of high-school—either play on the beach or stay on the court for university volleyball.

The 5-foot-11 outside hitter from KSS opted for the latter and will stay in Kelowna to play for Steve Manuel and the UBC Okanagan women’s team.

“In my last year I just realized court was more my passion,” said Neil, who moved to Kelowna from the Lower Mainland in 2013.  “I always wanted to come play for UBC Okanagan. (My family and I) used to come to Kelowna all of the time when I was young. It has always been a place I have loved.”

The Junior Heat member spent her senior year of high school with the Kelowna Secondary Owls, developing a relationship with her new coach Steve Manuel while getting to watch UBCO’s furious assent to top of the Canada West standings.

“I’ve been able to practice with the team a couple of times, and I really enjoy (Manuel’s)coaching style,” Neil added. “They seem like a great group.”

Neil will be sliding in as a power hitter for Manuel and the Heat following a successful high-school career. She was a 17U Provincial Club champion and the tournament’s MVP in 2014, working her way to a tournament all-star nomination at the UBC Okanagan Heat High School Invitational.

Out on the sand, she won back-to-back silver medals at the national championships from 2013-2014 after grabbing the bronze in 2012.

The new Heat member brings some international experience with her as well. She was a gold medalist at the Florida Volleyball Tour AAU U18 championships in 2014, and placed fifth overall with her club team at the U16 USA beach championships in 2013.

Neil previously played club for Seaside Volleyball before playing with the Junior Heat.

Manuel has confirmed his plans to use Neil as a powerful offensive tool, but praised his recruit’s overall game as well. “I believe that she has all the tools to be a great power hitter at the next level,” the coach said, also calling Neil a “great passer with great touch on the ball.” while also saying that she “shows incredible poise on serve receive and is a solid defender.”

Neil has applied for both the human kinetics and management programs at UBC Okanagan, but has admitted a preference towards management.

“It will be a big change,” Neil said of her jump to the next level in her athletic and academic pursuits. “It will be a lot more busy. I like how it’s a smaller campus, and that it is close to home.”

 

Just Posted

Missing Kelowna woman, Cassy Miller found dead

Miller went missing Nov. 6 and was found 10 days later

Three UBC Okanagan students awarded women in tech scholarships

Computer science and math students hope the award will inspire others

Kelowna’s definitive Christmas market list

We’ve prepared a list of every market in the Central Okanagan

Your guide to winter light ups around the Okanagan

From Vernon to Summerland, with a stop in Kelowna, we’ve found some activities for you to enjoy

Rockets break four game losing streak in Edmonton

The Rockets defeated the Oil Kings 3-1

REPLAY: B.C’s best video this week

In case you missed it, here’s a look at the replay-worth highlights from this week across the province

Children between 6 and 9 eligible for $1,200 RESP grant from province

BC Ministry of Education is reminding residents to apply before the deadline

Victoria spent $30,000 to remove John A. Macdonald statue

Contentious decision sparked controversy, apology from mayor

South region forestry workers nearly in legal strike position

Talks broke down between USW and IFLRA, resulting in booking out of provincial mediator

Privacy concerns over credit card use for legal online pot purchases

Worries follow privacy breaches at some Canadian cannabis retailers

NEB approves operating pressure increase to repaired Enbridge pipeline

The pipeline burst outside of Prince George on Oct. 9, now operating at 85 per cent

B.C. VIEWS: Setting speed limits in a post-fact political environment

Media prefer ‘speed kills’ narrative, even when it fails to appear

Controversy erupts over Japanese flag in B.C. classroom

Online petition demanding removal has collected more than 5,700 signatures

Death toll rises to 76 in California fire with winds ahead

Nearly 1,300 people remain unaccounted for more than a week after the fire began

Most Read