Looking to increase depth and flexibility in his roster UBC Okanagan men’s volleyball head coach Greg Poitras has brought in one time rival Rylan Brouwer, a 6’3” left side to play for the Heat.
A volleyball player transferring from Vancouver Island University to UBC’s Okanagan campus two or three years ago would have sent waves across the Canadian College volleyball scene as the Heat and Mariners routinely battled for provincial volleyball supremacy, but with UBC Okanagan’s jump to the CIS (Canadian Interuniversity Sport) this transfer is the natural progression for an elite college player looking to move on the next challenge.
Rylan played for the Mariners these past two seasons helping his team to a PACWEST silver medal this past February, earning rookie of the year in his freshman campaign.
“He was very deserving of his BCCAA Rookie of the Year award, and he has been an exciting player to watch for the last two years,” comments Poitras noting that when the Heat and the Mariners matched up with each other in the BCCAA Rylan proved “to be quite the handful.”
Mariner coach Abe Avender is excited for Rylan’s opportunity to jump to the CIS and indicates that his two years at VIU have prepped him for the Heat. “Rylan's strong determination on and off the court will serve him well in the CIS. He has always expressed a goal to get to play at the CIS level and we are pleased to see he has made his dream a reality with the Heat.”
“Rylan is a very driven and committed athlete which is what we look for when recruiting for the Heat team,” adds Poitras. “Last season one of the gaps in our roster was depth on the left wing; Rylan will immediately improve that depth with the two years of post-secondary he has under his belt.”
A chance at the CIS is not the only factor in Rylan choosing to come to the Heat, an honour roll student at G.P Vanier Secondary in Courteny, B.C., Brouwer has an educational passion for the study of human movement and will transfer into the Human Kinetics program at UBC.
“I am very excited to attend UBC Okanagan and to be a part of the men's volleyball program,” states Brouwer. “I value the quality and completeness as well as the good reputation of the Human Kinetics program. Also, on the volleyball side of it, it will be a pleasure to play at the next level alongside great athletes and have the support of a great coaching staff.”
Avender adds that Rylan is a great player to coach and he “was one of our most committed athletes and loves to play the game. Rylan was always willing to take criticism to improve his play and was an excellent athlete to coach.”
In what is becoming an annual tradition the Heat will begin their exhibition season hosting two of the top men’s volleyball teams in the CIS, as they host the University of Alberta Golden Bears on Sept. 21 and the defending back-to-back national champion, the Trinity Western Spartans Saturday Sept. 22. Times and locations to be announced at a later date.