Kelowna Secondary's Kailin Jones has signed on to play for the UBC Heat for the 2010-2011 season. Following an outstanding high school career, Kailin is expected to challenge for playing time and will add depth to the libero position alongside returning starter Lenai Schmidt.
Her qualifications speak for themselves. The Kelowna Volleyball Club member was a part of the B.C. 18-under team where she received notoriety for being one of the top defenders in the province. She also served as captain for her high school team where she was named a Provincial All-Star. She will continue her run of volleyball excellence by representing B.C. at the upcoming 2010 National Team Challenge Cup this July in Winnipeg. Kailin also has a background in beach volleyball where she represented the Okanagan at the 2008 B.C. Summer Games.
Jones has expressed enthusiasm at joining the Heat, both from an academic standpoint as well as remarking on the convenience of going to University while being able to live at home. However, she's quick to clarify her allegiance to the Heat saying: "I am also very excited to play with the team that has won Nationals two years running!"
The transition from high school to University ball should be a rather smooth one for Jones, who has been practicing and playing with several of the Heat players for a few years now. She describes the girls on the team as "really outgoing" and notes that it "won't be hard to feel like a part of the team." But for Kailin the benefit of her Heat experience will come from more than just the players on the court. "Steve (Manuel) is an amazing coach and I can't wait to play for him."
"Kailin will bring an extra edge to our backcourt," adds Manuel "she is a tremendously tenacious defender with a great ability to figure out opposing hitters' tendencies. Having watched and worked with Kailin for several years now, we know that she is ready for the next level"
During her stay at UBC, Kailin plans to attain her Science degree in either Biology or Biochemistry with the eventual goal of becoming a Physiotherapist or Lab Technician. But in the meantime, she will join the rest of the team in their season-long effort to bring another National Championship back to the Okanagan.