UBC Okanagan Heat women’s volleyball head coach Steve Manuel found another gem across the Rockies as he pulls another recruit out of Calgary with the commitment of Sophia Furlan from Sir Winston Secondary.
Furlan will replace the graduated libero Lenai Schmidt and backup returning libero Kailin Jones, who redshirted last season to do her Human Kinetics practicum as the team’s trainer.
The 5’9” Bulldog joins Megan Festival as a Calgarian, and like the outside hitter she was a member of the well-respected Dinos Volleyball Club.
Falling in a familiar theme that has taken place amongst Heat recruits this year Sophia paid a visit to the school earlier in the year and fell for the campus, lifestyle, and prospective teammates.
“When In visited the campus in January, I knew this was where I wanted to attend university. It was exciting seeing a place other than Calgary that I could possibly call home,” explains the Calgary native. “I had a fantastic experience meeting the coaches and the varsity girls, even if it was for a brief period of time. They were all so friendly and really made me feel welcome during my stay.”
Playing both setter and libero in her school and club career coach Manuel looks to take full advantage of Sophia’s versatility.
“She is extremely well rounded and has played every position on the court at one point or another,” explains Manuel on the ability of his lone recruit for the 2014-15 season. “With the graduation of Lenai Schmidt and Kendra Wayling this spring, there was a need to fill those spots with Sophia’s talents. She is quite physical for a defensive specialist, I expect her to push our current players on a daily basis. Sophia comes highly recommended by all of her former coaches, she brings a great work ethic, is extremely dedicated and I am excited to work with her on a daily basis.”
“Our lineup was quite set this year, with only losing three players to graduation [the aforementioned Schmidt and Wayling along with team Captain Jill Festival] and that trio will be replaced with veterans such as Kailin Jones and Myrte Schön both return from non-injury red-shirt seasons. With most of the 14 returning players in their second, third, and fourth years’, I believe that the team is coming into its own” continues Manuel.
Sophia will fit right into Steve’s team and already has a grasp on her role saying that the Heat offered her a chance to play in Canada West
“In the upcoming season, my priority is to be a good team player and continue improving my skills. I feel as though I can impact the team by working hard in practices and hopefully in game situations as well,” she says that “The role I have been offered definitely fits what I was looking for in terms of playing at the CIS level.”
When Sophia hits this campus this fall she will enrol in the Human Kinetics program and can’t wait to get here to face the challenge of CIS women’s volleyball.
“After playing club for five seasons, it is very exciting to finally reach the goal of playing in the CIS and competing with and playing against the extremely talented athletes in this league.”
Sophia and her Canada West Championship tournament teammates will see their first action September 18 in Edmonton for a series of Exhibition matches hosted by the MacEwan Griffins and Alberta Pandas.
The Heat will open their Canada West Conference Schedule October 10-11 back in Edmonton against the Pandas. Their first league game in Kelowna will be Friday October 17 when the host the Trinity Western Spartans. Keep up to date with the Heat schedule at http://athletics.ok.ubc.ca/womensvolleyball/results.html