ubc heat

She’s not even out of high school yet, but Emily Oxland is already making waves in Canada West. The 5’10 setter/outsider hitter from Handsworth Secondary in North Vancouver will be another in UBC Okanagan’s stable of talented young players that will play in the league.

The Heat finished their first year in Canada West with an impressive 6-14 record, better than TRU, Trinity, Brandon and SFU did in their first year in the division.

It’s no wonder Heat coach Steve Manuel is ecstatic about bringing in the top-ranked high school girls volleyball player in the province to the Okanagan.

“This is an exciting addition for us. Emily brings all the qualities that we are looking for. She is an extremely versatile athlete, a fierce competitor, a student of the game and an outstanding individual. We believe that she can do it all out there on the volleyball court but we will be looking to Emily to solidify the setting position as she works closely with our current setter Chandler Proch. She has the talent and ability to help us right away, Emily and Chandler will make an incredible setting team,” says Manuel.

“This is another huge step for our program. Adding a student athlete of Emily’s pedigree to our already talented young squad will continue to progress us towards building the Heat Women’s Volleyball team into a national contender.“

Oxland is a strong student and will enter the Human Kinetics program in the fall and has decided UBC’s Okanagan campus was good fit for her due to the combination of academics and athletic opportunities the school would provide her.

“I’ve heard that the academic program in Human Kinetics is strong,” says Oxland. “We all know that the Heat volleyball program is top-notch, even though it is in its early days in the CIS. The campus and city are beautiful and I like the fact that the campus is not that large. Kelowna is also a nice distance from home. It just felt like the perfect fit for me when I went for a visit,” says Oxland.

Oxland looks forward to playing for Manuel and developing her game.

“I know that the coaching staff is excellent and I know a lot of the players, this combination makes me feel that it will be a rapidly improving program and I am excited to be part of that growth,” she says. “Moving up in Canada West Volleyball will not be easy, but I have always enjoyed a challenge.”

Oxland’s resume is among the best the province has seen in the last few years, as a three-year senior for Handsworth, Oxland won two AAAA provincial gold medals and one bronze. In her Grade 10-11 seasons, Oxland was named MVP leading her team to the top spot in the province. This past fall in her Grade 12 season, Oxland led the Royals, a team with six of seven starters graduating the year before, to the bronze earning her a first team all-star.

Oxland plays club volleyball with the BCO volleyball club based North Vancouver. Playing on the 18U Elite team the past two seasons, Oxland has earned a 2011 national bronze medal, a national tournament all-star, a provincial championship and a selection to the provincial championship all-star team. In 2010, a provincial silver medal, and in 2009 on the 16U team Oxland was selected as an all-star again as her team finished with a provincial silver medal.

Oxland has also represented B.C. on the provincial team, most recently being selected as tournament all-star while winning a gold medal at the 2011 National Team Challenge Cup alongside current Heat standout Brianna Beamish.

An extremely versatile player, Oxland started out her career as a setter before sliding over to outside hitter as her school team’s need for offense grew. Even when playing on the outside, Oxland was relied on as a coach on the court, responsible for directing the team’s offense. Oxland is a strong server and plays defence at a high level.

Oxland’s goal is to become one of the top setters in the nation by the end of her career and she will spend the next five year’s delivering the ball to the reigning MVP of the AAAA provincial championships and fellow high school recruit, Kaitlynn Given whose Kelowna Owls were the only team to beat Oxland’s Handsworth squad in the past three years at the championships.