In Emily Oxland’s first trip to the service line in her first game as a rookie setter she ripped off an ace against Thompson Rivers, setting the stage for a stellar rookie campaign.
Emily has been rewarded for her excellent season with a Canada West All-Star as she was superb in leading the UBC Okanagan Heat’s women’s volleyball team’s offense as a freshman setter.
“Emily was simply brilliant all season for us,” her coach Steve Manuel was quick to say when prompted for his thoughts on his setter’s performance on the year. “It is unbelievable to me that a rookie setter would be able to lead this young team to a 15-7 record and a tie for third place in Canada West at the end of the regular season.”
It takes a lot for a coach to trust running a team to a rookie setter but Heat head coach Steve Manuel handed his prized recruit the keys to the offense and was not disappointed by her performance. After Oxland led the team to a late-season sweep of the Bobcats, in which Manuel subbed liberally and played with different lineups, he was not at a loss for words about the rookie.
“I can’t believe how well this first year player is handling the pressure of running the offence on such a young team. I said before the season that I did not want to be starting a rookie setter, but if I have to go that route, Emily Oxland is definitely the one that I want out there.”
Coach Manuel was quick to back up his comments with numbers:
“Her stats speak volumes, first in total assists, fifth in assists per set and second in total aces in the CIS.”
The numbers are staggering, as a first year player Emily Oxland recorded 804 total assists - the highest total recorded in the country since 2008-09. Her assist per set mark was 9.14 fifth in the nation and third best in the Canada West conference.
From the service line Oxland aced her opponent 46 times (A new CW single season record) – number two in the nation and tops in Canada West, at 0.52 per set she ranks tenth in the CIS and fourth in Canada West.
Oxland was also extremely durable for her squad playing in every one of the Heat’s 88 total sets, her 88 sets played was also the most sets played by an individual across the CIS. (She actually played every single point except for a 6 point stretch on Nov 2nd).
“Emily was the difference in several matches this season; she is a leader, a true competitor and simply a winner,” sums up her coach.
Emily finished with five aces in the three set win that night in October versus Thompson Rivers, one of her many standout performances.
Another strong night from the line was in a three set win over then No. 6 Manitoba at home, the freshman from North Vancouver carved up the Bisons for six aces, to complete the weekend sweep of Manitoba.
In the Heat’s home sweep of the Calgary Dinos, both five set wins, Oxland tallied 115 assists and five aces. Those two wins put the Heat in a good position to finish top four and host a first-ever playoff series.
The future looks bright with Emily Oxland driving the Heat’s offense for the next four years for coach Manuel and the UBC Okanagan women’s volleyball team.
For a complete list of the Canada West women’s volleyball awards visit: