KELOWNA, B.C. (ISN) – While racking up 28 kills in a single contest, UBC Okanagan Heat Nate Speijer proved he was a player to keep an eye on.
That total is even more impressive considering it was not only his first year in Canada West, but his first game. That performance set the tone for the outside hitter who was able to take his game to the next level and earn a Canada West All Star.
Although it is his fourth year with the Heat, it was the University of British Columbia’s Okanagan Heat’s first year in Canada West and Speijer played like the dominant offensive player that he was in the CCAA. Speijer was an offensive machine for the Heat as his name was scattered at the top of the leaderboard in the offensive categories.
UBC Okanagan coach Greg Poitras was pleased with his veteran hitter’s ability to take his game to the next level when the team jumped to a more difficult league.
“Nate had a great year. He really never skipped a beat with the big jump to CIS and all the teams and coaches keying on him. It was great to see him rise to the occasion. There is no doubt Nate is already preparing himself to be an even more complete player next year for the Heat. I am sure next year’s Canada West playoffs are already on his mind,” says Poitras.
Speijer was fourth in points scored with 4.55 per game, third in kills per set at 3.98, sixth in service aces with 19 on the year and he was also 19th in hitting percentage at .255. It is a testament to Speijer’s durability and his ability to carry the team to a successful first season in Canada West as he was fifth in total attempts at 591, second in a per set average at 9.23.
Speijer’s consistent ability to score is what made the Heat a dangerous new member in Canada West as he led them to the Canada West Quarter Finals and eight regular season wins in the team’s very first season.
Speijer had a season high of 28 kills in his first Canada West matchup Oct. 28 at home versus Winnipeg, this was the second highest total in Canada West this year and he did it in only four sets.
Speijer had more than 20 kills twice more on the year, 24 versus Regina on Jan. 27 and Feb. 4 in Saskatchewan versus the Huskies, both of the matches were wins for the Heat and wins UBC Okanagan needed to qualify for the post season.
In the must win game versus Saskatchewan, the Heat made a miraculous comeback and Speijer notched a season high and league best five aces in the match, the last one closed out the game in the 18-16 fifth set.
Next season will be the fifth and final year for Speijer, and the team will look to build upon their great first season in Nate’s final year with hopefully another run to the Canada West post season.
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For a complete list of the Canada West men’s volleyball awards visit: http://www.canadawest.org/news/2012/2/24/MVB_0224120327.aspx