News Feed (, Volleyball (M) | October 27, 2011

Canada West competition becomes official Friday


UBC Okanagan Heat open up their CIS volleyball season

The UBC Okanagan men’s volleyball team will take to the court for their own batch of history after the women’s match and will play the same University of Winnipeg Wesmen. This of course will be the team’s first league action in Canada West. The game times for the Wesmen and the Heat are Friday at 8 p.m. and then again Saturday night at 8 p.m., with both games to be played in the gymnasium of UBC’s Okanagan campus.

Friday, October 28 – University of Winnipeg Wesmen at UBC Okanagan Heat (8 p.m. in the gym on UBC’s Okanagan campus, Kelowna)
Saturday, October 29 – University of Winnipeg Wesmen at UBC Okanagan Heat (8 p.m. in the gym on UBC’s Okanagan campus, Kelowna)
Both games will be streamed with live video:

HEAT (0-0)
CIS National Ranking: N/A
CanWest Ranking: No. 11
CanWest Standings: N/A
Last Week: N/A
Streak: N/A
2010 CanWest Record: N/A
2010 CanWest Championship: N/A
2010 CIS Tournament: N/A
Last CanWest Title: N/A
Last CIS Title: N/A
Full Schedule / Roster


This should be a good matchup for the Heat as Winnipeg in the preseason polls came in at the number nine spot, with the Heat only two places behind at number eleven. The Heat have completed a full palette of preseason games with the Heat holding their own against the elite schools in the CIS, some of their noteworthy results are victories over the University of Alberta and the defending national champions, the Trinity Western Spartans.

Heat coach Greg Poitras has his team as ready as they can possibly be.;
“I don’t think too many coaches go into their first league feeling they are 100% ready. We’ve had some good competition. We really tried to put as much adversity on our team as possible [in the preseason], we’ve put a lot of stress on them too with school, and all the practicing and training. This is what we’ve been waiting for so we’re ready to go.”

The Heat are looking forward to playing their first CIS match at home. “The schedule works out nice for us that we get to play our first game in our gym,” explains Poitras. “We have a lot of things going against us with the inexperience we have, but we’ll also have a packed gym cheering us on.”

Fifth year setter and team captain Preston Tucker is also looking forward to Friday night as he notes that the team “… definitely feels the excitement. I don’t think the guys feel too tense about it. I think we can go in pretty excited and know what’s at stake here.”

This has been a long journey for UBC Okanagan athletics and the athletes that have been here for the entire trip. Players like Tucker are understandably more than ready.;

“I think a lot of guys on the team deserve this. It is their last year, not just mine- Mark Broome, Spencer Brown, all those guys. I think we’ve been working for this our entire four years here, and we deserve to go out Friday night and show the crowd what we got.”

Some more info from
Key additions: Jon Russo, Riley McFarland, Leigh Goossen, Brett Uniat
Key returnees: Preston Tucker, Nate Speijer, Mark Broome, Greg Niemantsverdriet
Key departures: Chris Howe, Aleks Bergen

The UBC Okanagan Heat enter their first year of CIS action and look to have an immediate impact much like the Thompson Rivers WolfPack and Brandon Bobcats have. TRU made the playoffs after one season and Brandon after two.

Heat coach Greg Poitras took his team to a collegiate national final last year and has a good mix of veteran players and talented newcomers on this year’s squad.

The Heat will be led by fifth-year setter Preston Tucker, the 2011 CCAA Male Athlete of the Year, and two-time All-Canadian. Nate Speijer a two time All Canadian is in his fourth year. Speijer, a strong outside hitter will bring his aggressive game to the CIS level. Other fourth-year players are Riley McFarland, Brett Uniat and Steve Clements. McFarland is an outside hitter that has transferred back to the Heat from the UBC Thunderbirds program.

To mix with his veterans Poitras has recruited one of the three top BC high school volleyball players this past season in Jon Russo, whom in Poitras’ opinion “was the best all-round high school player in the province.” To go with Russo, Poitras has added two of his Team BC teammates in middle blocker Leigh Goossen and defensive specialist Jeremy Fostvelt to his recruiting class and will looking to make an impression this year.

A couple of other veteran players such as Mark Broome, a middle and sometimes outside hitter and Greg Niemantsverdriet, both national tournament all-stars last year, will be featured in the rotation as both are impact players with a ton of experience.

CIS National Ranking: No. 9
CanWest Ranking: No.
CanWest Standings: N/A
Last Week: N/A
Streak: N/A
2010 CanWest Record: 2-16, 9th place
2010 CanWest Championship: N/A
2010 CIS Tournament: N/A
Last CanWest Title: N/A
Last CIS Title: 1993
Full Schedule / Roster


Some more info from
Key additions: Zack Diboll, Stephane Waldie
Key returnees: Matthew Stubler, Ty Loewen, Devin Schmidt, Brendan Black
Key departures: Marc Ross, Matthew Schriemer, Dan Lother

WINNIPEG – Head coach Larry McKay (23rd season) saw his team go through some growing pains last season but looks for better things heading into the new season.

Fifth-year setter Zack Diboll with previous experience at the University of Manitoba is ready to set up the Wesmen offence after sitting out last year due to Canada West transfer regulations. Libero Stephane Waldie joins the team after previous stops at UBC and Brandon. Third-year players Devin Schmidt and Matthew Stubler will be looked upon to provide experience and quality court time. A quartet of second-year players Ty Loewen, Brendan Black, Nathaniel Therrien and Thomas Douglas-Powell all saw substantial court time last season and each will be looking for better things in their second seasons with the Wesmen. Erik Wiebe and Derek Miller round out the list of veterans.

McKay will have five first-year recruits on his roster. Tanner McFeetors, Josh McKay and Riley Delavau all join the Wesmen from Dakota Collegiate.


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