ubc heat

The UBC Okanagan Heat 4th Annual Awards Ceremony top award winners.

KELOWNA, BC – On a special night at UBC’s Okanagan campus two volleyball players were once again lauded over all other great candidates as the UBC Okanagan male and female Athlete of the Year.

Fourth year outside hitter Nate Speijer from Penticton was the winner of the male award, while third year Castlegar resident Kendra Wayling, who played every position for her team, won the female award.

Nate Speijer parlayed his Canada West All-Star and his team’s improbable run to the playoffs in their first sojourn in the CIS into the institution’s highest athletic honour.

In his fourth year of competition for the Heat, this power hitter finished the season 5th in the country in kills per set, 6th in the country in points per set and 5th in total attacks. In his first year of CIS completion, he was recognized as a Canada West All-Star and led his team to an 8-12 record in league play and a trip to the Canada West playoffs. The men’s volleyball nominee, co-captain Nate Speijer won the award for the second time; he was also a recipient in 2009/10.

The other male nominees were: Cody Bell (Golf), Yassine Ghomari (Basketball), and Spencer Brown (Soccer).

A player from the men’s volleyball team has won the award 14 of the 21 times it has been presented.

Women’s volleyball player, Kendra Wayling was a Swiss Army Knife for her team this year. For her efforts on the court, in the locker room, and in the classroom she was rewarded with UBC Okanagan’s most prestigious award for a student-athlete tonight as she awarded the UBC Okanagan Female Athlete of the Year.

Kendra, in her third year of competition, played a significant role in her team’s success throughout the season. Beginning the season as starting middle-blocker, team circumstances and her strong athletic ability meant that over the course of the season she started at every position on the floor. When those circumstances required she start at setter, she did that too – even though she had never set a match in her life – and she did against the universities of Calgary, Regina, Brandon and Thompson Rivers. Despite this set of adversity her team won six games in Canada West, a remarkable feat and had the team not faced adversity during the season those loses in the fifth set might have turned out differently.

The women’s volleyball team has now won this award five consecutive years, and 12 awards in total.

The other nominees were: Roslyn Huber (Basketball), Alana Kent (Golf), and Sabrina Gasparac (Soccer).