Published: February 11, 2012 3:00 PM
Both the men's and women's volleyball teams at UBCO will honour longtime players tonight as the regular season for the UBCO Heat comes to a close with home matches in CIS play.
The Heat women play Thompson Rivers University at 6 p.m. while the Heat men play TRU at 8 p.m. at the Kelowna campus. The men can make the playoffs with a pair of wins this weekend while the women will fail to make the playoffs in the team's first year of CIS play.
But the focus Saturday night will be on the graduating seniors.
The women's team does not have a fifth year player on the roster, but coach Steve Manuel would like to honour a player that has spent four years with the team and will be finishing her career as she will graduate from her program.
Kaylan Gouldsborough is a middle blocker that Manuel brought into his program right out of Penticton Secondary and enjoyed one of the most successful three year stints in the BCCAA of any athlete. In those three years with the program Kaylan’s team record in those three seasons was a sublime 57-5. In her first year her team ran the table, going undefeated in capturing the school’s first national championship. They followed that up with another national championship in her second year. In her three years playing volleyball Kaylan won three provincial gold medals, never losing a match at the BCCAA Provincial championships. Kaylan’s leadership and veteran presence have been a big bonus as the team transitioned from CCAA dynasty to a CIS newbie in 2011-12.
The UBCO men will honour three players: Preston Tucker (Setter, Vernon, BC), Mark Broome (Middle, Kelowna, BC), and Spencer Browne (Libero, West Kelowna, BC).
Tucker played five years for the Heat coming straight to the school after his high school career at Vernon’s W.L Seaton Secondary. In his five years Tucker will graduate as one of the most successful and decorated male student-athletes in school’s history. Tucker’s individual awards include:
·CCAA National Player of the Year Across All Sports (2010/11)
·CCAA National Player of the Year (2010/11)
·CCAA National All‐Canadian (2010/11), (2009/10)
·CCAA National Championship Tournament All‐star (2010/11), (2009/10)
·BCCAA Player of the Year (2010/11)
·BCCAA Provincial Championship Tournament All‐star (2010/11), (2009/10)
·BCCAA Provincial All‐Star (2010/11), (2009/10), (2008/09)
·BCCAA Athlete of the Week (2010/11), (2009/10)
·UBC Okanagan Student‐Athlete of the Year(2010/11)
Preston was also voted the team’s most valuable player twice by his coaches in 2009/10, and 2008/09. In 2007/08 he was selected the men’s volleyball team rookie of the year by his coaches.
Mark Broome: Broome played all five years as a teammate with Preston Tucker and therefore has had the same successful winning rate as his setter. Mark was recruited by coach Poitras out of Kelowna school Okanagan Mission Secondary. This Kelowna native was a National tournament all-star in the Heat’s run to a Silver medal last spring, and has twice been honored as a provincial athlete of the week. Mark may best be known for his exuberant celebrations on the court as his excitement and ‘little dances’ have been a crowd favourite for five years at UBC Okanagan.
Spencer Browne: Spencer has been at the University for four years, playing his first year at Selkirk College. Spencer is a unique two sport athlete, and a very successful one. The past two seasons Spencer has been selected to the men’s soccer Provincial All Star team as a keeper. Spencer’s first year with the Heat was in 2008-09, playing for that 12-4 squad. Spencer is a local product having graduated from Mt. Boucherie Secondary in West Kelowna.