One-third of Team BC suits up for the Heat women’s volleyball team

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okanagan heat

Cary Mellon

June 13, 2013, Kelowna, BC (ISN) – Five of the 14 athletes that have been selected for Team BC 20U Women’s team that is preparing for competition at the Canada Games are currently on the UBC Okanagan Heat roster.

CIS all rookie team and Canada West all-star Emily Oxland, a setter from North Vancouver, along with the Heat’s two starting middles, Katy Klomps (Surrey) and Katie Wuttunee (North Vancouver), and a pair of outside hitters round out the five Heat members as Brianna Beamish (Surrey) and Kelowna’s own Kaitlynn Given will join the team.

Training will take place in Kelowna prior to the program’s departure for Florida where the team will represent Team BC internationally at the USA Volleyball High Performance Championships. The team will continue training in Florida until heading directly to the 2013 Canada Games being held August 2-18 in Sherbrooke, Quebec.

“Playing in the Canada Summer Games is special opportunity and is something that I encourage all my eligible athletes to participate in,” explains Heat women’s volleyball head coach and reigning CIS coach of the year, Steve Manuel. “The games only happen once every four years so only a very select few will have a chance to play in it.”

“In September these athletes will come into training camp for the Heat in mid-season form after the amount of top level competition and training they will undergo over the next 6-8 weeks, and with the schedule being released for Canada West yesterday I’m already excited for the season to start,” continues the coach.

Along with the five athletes from the Heat earning roster spots the university based out of Kelowna will also send Becki Kosinski, Heat assistant coach, and Michelle Laviolette who has been a student trainer with the women’s volleyball program these past two seasons. Becki has been with the Team BC program for the past two years and coach Manuel indicates she will play an instrumental role with the team. Laviolette will travel to Florida and will be tasked with keeping the team healthy during training.

Steve Manuel has also been able to confirm a sixth member of his team will participate in the upcoming Canada Games as Megan Festival has earned a spot on Team Alberta and will go toe to toe with her Heat teammates this summer. Megan, an outside hitter, has played one year for the Heat and was a 2012 graduate of Calgary’s Western Canada High, she still calls Calgary home in the summer.

The team will utilize several secondary schools in Kelowna for training over the next two weeks. Normally the team would be hosted at UBC’s Okanagan campus’ gymnasium; however the gym floor is being resurfaced to accommodate new lines instituted by FIBA basketball. The new floor will include a fresh look featuring the Heat logo and colours.

Beamish, Oxland, and Wuttunee were a part of the 2011 National Team Championship Cup together and Klomps and Given have both suited up for Team BC in the past.

Of the 14 athletes on the team 11 suit up for CIS schools, nine of those in Canada West, the other three members of the squad play in the PACWEST in the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA).

While attending the USA High Performance Championships the team will have the opportunity to compete against fellow 20U programs from Canada in addition to junior national team programs from the USA, Puerto Rico, New Zealand and Chile.

The Canada Games take place every four years and with a vision to create a premium, nation-building, multi-sport event that enrich Canadian culture and create lasting legacies. Preliminary groupings in women’s volleyball currently have Team BC in a pool with Saskatchewan, Prince Edward Island, Yukon, Alberta and Ontario. The other pool consists of teams from Manitoba, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Northwest Territories, Newfoundland & Labrador, and Quebec.

2013 TEAM BC Women’s Volleyball Canada Games Roster

Kristen Almhjell (L, 5-6, Richmond, Guelph)

Brianna Beamish (OH, 5-9, Surrey, UBC Okanagan)

Nicole Cornwall (S, 5-8, Coquitlam, TWU)

Katie Devaney (M, 6-1, Port Coquitlam, TWU)

Alessandra Gentile (OH, 5-9, Port Moody, UBC)

Kaitlynn Given (OH, 6-0, Kelowna, UBC Okanagan)

Krista Hogewoning (OH, 5-9, Delta, UFV)

Katy Klomps (M, 6-2, Surrey, UBC Okanagan)

Veronica Livingston (OH, 6-0, Kelowna, Ryerson)

Morgan Marshall (M, 6-0, Smithers, Camosun)

Emily Oxland (S, 5-9, North Vancouver, UBC Okanagan)

Chelsea Tancon (OH, 6-0, Comox, TWU)

Alyssa Wolf (OH, 5-7, Burnaby, VIU)

Katie Wuttunee (M, 6-3, North Vancouver, UBC Okanagan)

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