This Week in UBC Okanagan Athletics

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September 12, 2013, Kelowna, BC – It will be a busy weekend for the Heat’s Golf, Volleyball and Soccer teams as they continue play in their respective PACWEST schedules.

Men’s & Women’s Golf

A strong showing in Parksville, B.C last weekend has the Heat feeling confident heading into their second tournament of the season, which they will host at the Okanagan Golf Club on Kelowna, B.C from September 14th-15th.

The Heat men’s team will be looking to capitalize on home-course advantage and keep the momentum going after a third-place finish to begin the season. Will Deck (4th year, Kelowna, BC) shot a red-hot two-day total of 140 in Parksville, B.C last weekend to win the tournament, while Cody Bell (4th year, Salmon Arm, BC) finished eighth.

Meanwhile, the Heat women placed an impressive fourth in the tournament. First-year golfers Carolyn Lee and Kelsey McGillis combined for a two-day total of 375. Lee finished three strokes off the pace with a score of 164 to place third, while McGillis finished 12th – an impressive showing by both rookie golfers in their first PACWEST tournament.

As mentioned, the Heat will play host this weekend, welcoming the PACWEST to Okanagan Golf Club (Quail and Bear Course) for a two-day tournament beginning Saturday. First group to tee off on Saturday is at 1:20 p.m. and the first group on Sunday will hit the links at 9 a.m.

Women’s Volleyball

After a hard-fought playoff loss to Mount Royal University to conclude the 2012-2013 Canada West season, the Heat will begin preparations for this season, hosting friendly scrimmages and games this weekend with the Saskatchewan Huskies and the Trinity Western Spartans.

Although the Heat will miss the services of Alexandra Basso (Kelowna, BC), the Heat’s only graduating player from last season, the core remains intact the team boasts impressive depth. A majority of fifth-year players, Myrte Schön (5th year, Langley, BC), Lenai Schmidt (5th year, Vernon, BC), Jill Festival (5th year, Calgary, AB), and Kendra Wayling (5th year, Castlegar, BC) will bring poise to the Heat court, while head coach Steve Manuel will have the added advantage of infusing talent from the bench to drive production when needed. An impressive list of second-year players, including Canada West All-Star and CIS All-Rookie Emily Oxland (North Vancouver, BC), will look to build upon early success in their rookie campaigns this season.

All three teams will be involved in scrimmages on Friday and Sunday, with games being held on Saturday. The Heat will play Trinity Western at 2:00 p.m., and then Saskatchewan at 6:00 p.m. All scrimmages and games will be held at the UBC’s Okanagan campus Gymnasium.

Women’s Soccer

The Heat will hit the road for the second weekend of the 2013 PACWEST season, heading to Surrey and Coquitlam to play Kwantlen Polytechnic University and Douglas College this Saturday and Sunday, September 14th-15th.

Kwantlen opened the season winless last weekend, playing Langara College to a 1-1 tie at BCIT Saturday, September 7th, and falling to the Quest Kermodes on Sunday, September 8th with a final score of 3-2. Kwantlen has played the Heat very tough in past season, beating the Heat 2-0 in their first meeting last season, with the Heat exacting a 1-0 revenge win in the second meeting of 2012. The Heat will need to contain first-year Eagles forward Lynnea Yee (Surrey, BC) if they are to enjoy success versus Kwantlen this weekend; Yee was very active in her first two games for Kwantlen last weekend, creating multiple chances for the Eagles.

This game is scheduled for 12:00 p.m. and will be held at Newton Athletic Park in Surrey, BC.

Douglas College opened up the season winless as well, falling to Quest 2-1 on September 7th, and then to Langara 3-0 on September 8th. Douglas College has been a team the Heat have enjoyed facing in previous seasons. In 2012, the Heat earned two victories in two meetings with the Royals (3-0 and 4-0).

This game is scheduled for 12:00 p.m. and will be held at Coquitlam Towncentre in Coquitlam, BC

As for UBC Okanagan, the Heat looked very impressive in their opening weekend versus Vancouver Island University and Capilano University. A 2-1 victory versus VIU showed the resiliency of the squad after the team surrendered their 1-0 lead in the 66th minute, while their 2-0 victory versus Capilano provided an arena to display their defensive dominance and goal-scoring touch. The performance of stand-in goalkeeper Laura Graham (2nd year, Sidney, BC), Christine Tallon’s (4th year, Kamloops, BC) replacement, was a major reason why the Heat were able to secure victories. Her conversion to keeper was non-disruptive; she has stepped into the role and played beyond expectations. However, it is expected that Tallon will return this weekend versus Kwantlen and Douglas College, having fully recovered from her concussion.

Men’s Soccer

The Heat are already half-way to eclipsing their win total of 2012, and head into this weekend with two great opportunities to extend their record to 3-1. The Heat will travel to Kwantlen Polytechnic University Saturday, September 14th to face the Eagles, and to Douglas College on September 15th to face the Royals.

Kwantlen has opened up their season with a tie and a loss, but have always been a formidable opponent for the Heat. In 2012, the Heat both tied and lost to the Eagles, with Kwantlen earning the victory 3-2 on October 6th. However, the 2013 Eagles are a new-look squad after suffering the departure of a number of graduates. 60% of the squad consists of first-year players, and the Heat hope to capitalize on the Eagles’ inexperience in their first game of the weekend.

The game is scheduled for 2:00 p.m. and will be held at Newton Athletic Park in Surrey, BC

Sunday’s game will see the Heat travel to Coquitlam to face the defending PACWEST Provincial Champions. Fortunately for the Heat, the Royals have graduated the majority of the players from their 2012 title roster, including 2012 PACWEST 1st Team All-Star Jag Gill. However, Douglas has still retained 2012 Men’s Player of the Year Sahil Sandhu (3rd year, Surrey, BC). The Heat will need to shut down Sandhu if they hope to escape Coquitlam with a win.

The game is scheduled for 2:00 p.m. at Coquitlam Towncentre.

As for the Heat, their opening weekend series was a very encouraging one, considering the disappointing finish to 2012. The Heat’s energy and fluidity versus the defending CCAA silver medalists was impressive; their ability to hang with a top PACWEST team was a promising sign. The Heat have, and will continue, to rely on the majority of their young players to provide the spark. Enzo Paal (1st year, Coldstream, BC), Lucas Krivak (1st year, Port Moody, BC), Giovanni Carida (1st year, Coquitlam, BC) and Logan Ellis (2nd year, Calgary, AB) did so Sunday versus Capilano, and will need to continue to do so this weekend if the Heat are to build upon the successes enjoyed in the past weekend of play.

Christian J. Stewart
Christian is a professional photographer and media professional based in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. Currently working as the Assistant General Manager for Victoria HarbourCats Baseball Club, a Senior Contributing Editor and photographer at Independent Sports News (ISN) and operating his own freelance photography and media/pr company.