KELOWNA, BC - Max Heppell of Langley, B.C. has signed on to become a part of the UBC Okanagan Heat men's volleyball program in 2017.
Heppell, a 6'4" left side hitter, comes to the Heat from the Langley Fundamental School, and from the Force Volleyball program.
Max played five years with the Force club program, earning four consecutive provincial championships and well as four consecutive national championships. He also had success with his school teams, earning First Team All-Star honours as his junior team took home a provincial title. In 2014 Heppell was a member of a Fraser Valley team that earned the gold medal in the BC Summer Games in Nanaimo.
Max cites both athletic and academic reasons for wanting to come to Kelowna. "I chose UBCO because of Brad Hudson. He coached my brother at Douglas, and so I know he is a good coach," said Heppell, adding, "UBCO has a business program, which is what I wanted to study."
Specifically, Heppell plans to study business management, with the end goal of staring a farm and an electrical business after his time at UBC Okanagan.
"I can't wait for this coming year to be able to show what I'm worth and prove myself on this team," said Max when asked about his upcoming step up to the U Sports level. "I am ready to work hard and do whatever I can to help make this team better."
The feeling is evidently mutual. "I am very excited to have Max join us," said his soon-to-be coach. "Max possesses both the skillset we look for in our wing players and the character we want in our Heat men's volleyball athletes. In particular, Max is an exceptional receiver and attacker out of the back row."
Hudson is also pleased at the club program that Heppell is coming from citing the winning the team has done in Heppell's time there "Our recruit, Max Heppell, and his club team just won u18 nationals in Saskatoon. It's his teams fourth national championship in a row. I literally think his team has lost once in Canada (in their age group) in something like five years. It's amazing", said Hudson on the run.
After a strong first season in 2016-17 that saw first year coach Hudson, with an interim tag, set a record for wins in a Canada West season by the UBCO men's volleyball program with nine, has an impressive first recruiting class, and is bringing in seven players to compete for the UBC Okanagan Heat for the upcoming season.
Heppell is one of two leftsides entering the program that only lost one significant starter, Alex Swiatlowski, from a nine win team, a transfer from Grand Prairie Regional College, Tristan Simmonds, is the other leftside.
Also from GPRC Lucas Robertson, a setter, is transferring to UBC Okanagan for the fall. Caleb Funk is one of two middles that have committed to UBCO, Shawn Zhao from Richmond's R.A McMath is the other one.
Zach Gotmy, a libero from Calgary and Morgan Nichols, a setter from Lake Country's George Elliot are the other recruits in the fold.
The upcoming season schedule for the Canada West volleyball team will be released on Wednesday, June 21st. Check for details at goheat.ca.