Women’s volleyball coach Steve Manuel dipped once again into the local talent pool and has Siobhan Fitzpatrick from Immaculata Regional High School suiting up for the 2013-14 campaign.
The 6’1’’ Power Hitter only ever considered staying home for her post-secondary volleyball and educational career. Originally a Vancouver native, she has lived most of her life in Kelowna and having the chance to go to university at home was very appealing.
“There were others I applied to and was accepted at but I only wanted to carry on with volleyball if I had the chance to do it at UBCO,” she said. “I have been coached by Becki [Kosinski, Assistant Coach] previously in Club and have known Steve through Centre of Excellence … and through Junior Heat Club Volleyball.”
Fitzpatrick praised the Junior Heat program for its developing of its student athletes: “I have learned so much from both of [Junior Heat and Center of Excellence] and am looking forward to developing under their leadership. The UBCO players I have had the chance to meet and/or scrimmage with have all been very kind and welcoming and that helped make my decision all the easier.” She also stressed how much the program built confidence in her own playing abilities.
She looks forward to the camaraderie that she knows one develops with fellow teammates too, saying that her hope “would be to make long lasting friendships on and off the court.”
“I believe that having the Junior Heat club volleyball program and the Volleyball Canada Centre of Excellence based out of UBC’s Okanagan campus provides a great training ground for our local athletes,” says Heat head coach and national coach of the year Steve Manuel. “The extra training and developmental time is invaluable for local volleyball players and provides us an opportunity to work closely with them, this is how we know that Siobhan will be a great fit in our program – it’s because she has been with us, in a way, for a few years already.”
Siobhan will be entering the Bachelor of Science program and has been designated a Chancellor’s Scholar for her high school academic achievement.
Erin Drew and Siobhan are two Junior Heat members that will graduate to the varsity Heat squad this fall, coach Manuel’s other recruit is Michelle Jakszuk from Gibsons. Erin and Siobhan placed tenth at the national club championships just over week ago in Edmonton (May 10-12); Michelle and her club team BCO finished fourth.