This Week in UBC Okanagan Athletics

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October 2, 2013, Kelowna, BC – It will be a busy week for UBC Okanagan Athletics, as volleyball, basketball, soccer, golf and cross-country teams will all see action this weekend.

Women’s Volleyball – The UBC Okanagan women’s volleyball team will get back into the swing of preseason action in a big way this weekend with five games over three days at the West Coast Classic, a tournament jointly hosted by Trinity Western and UBC.

UBC Okanagan will open the tournament with an 11:00 a.m. Friday morning match against Mount Royal, and the Heat will look for some payback against a Cougars squad that took out UBC Okanagan in last year’s post-season. Friday’s second game will be against an OUA opponent in the York Lions, who went an impressive 17-1 in the Ontario league last season.

Saturday, UBC Okanagan will play another two games during the day, with the first beginning at 10:30 a.m. versus their UBC brethren, and six-time national champion, the UBC Thunderbirds. At 7 p.m. the Regina Cougars, another Canada West foe will provide the opponent.

The fifth and final game of the marathon weekend will be against the Alberta Pandas, on Sunday at 10 a.m. All matches are scheduled to take place at the Langley Events Centre.

Men’s Basketball –
Heat men’s basketball will continue preparations for the 2013-2014 season this Friday and Saturday, as they take to the road and play a single game against Trinity Western and Fraser Valley.

A two loss weekend in their first action of the year versus the semi-pro Seattle Mountaineers shouldn’t be any cause for concern. Given the age difference between a Mountaineers roster with players from 24-30 versus a Heat squad with seven players under the age of 19, it would be unwise to draw a conclusion from their two game series.

For their first taste of CIS basketball, the Spartans and Cascades will provide a better barometer of the style and pace of play expected this season in Canada West. Second-year Heat head coach Pete Guarasci will surely be preaching defense and ball control after turnovers cost the Heat last weekend.

The chance for pre-season redemption begins Friday, October 4th at 7 p.m., as the Heat play the host Trinity Western Spartans at the Langley Events Centre. The Heat will then battle the Cascades on Saturday at the Envision Athletic Centre in Abbotsford for a 3 p.m. tipoff.

Women’s Soccer – After righting the ship last weekend with two statement wins versus Capilano and Vancouver Island University, the Heat head into a huge home-and-home series this weekend versus their heated Okanagan rival Thompson Rivers University.

Over the past few seasons, the feud between TRU and UBC Okanagan has grown into one of the best in the PACWEST, fueled by Thompson Rivers’ winning the past two PACWEST Provincial Gold Medals at the hands of the Heat. Last season, it was Alanna Bekkering of the ‘Pack that would crush the Heat’s gold medal hopes, scoring in the 44th minute to earn TRU the victory. She continues her torrid goal-scoring pace this year, already notching eight goals in eight games. No stranger to big games, she will undoubtedly be bringing her best to this weekend series, and if the Heat hope to avenge last season’s loss in the provincial final, they will need to keep her off the score-sheet.

This isn’t just another weekend series for the Heat – it is larger than that. This one has been circled on the calendar since the schedule was released, and the Heat feel they have something to prove versus a team that has had their number over the past two seasons. With that being said, the 2013 version of the Heat is unlike the teams of old in terms of goal-scoring ability, currently boasting an offense with three of the top ten goal-scorers in the PACWEST. Kirsten Dodds, Haylee Lakovic, and Michelle Smith have all scored thrice in eight games so far this season, and the Heat hope this balanced attack, paired with a stout backline, will be enough to dethrone the PACWEST champion WolfPack.

The first game will be held at Hillside Stadium in Kamloops, BC on Saturday, October 5th, with game-time scheduled for 1 p.m. Sunday’s game will be held at Nonis Sports Field at the UBC’s Okanagan campus, with game-time scheduled for 12 p.m.

Men’s Soccer – The high-flying Heat offense stalled last weekend in rainy conditions to the tune of one draw and one loss, and the Heat will need to play some better football this weekend versus Thompson Rivers University if they hope to stand their ground as the third-seed in what is becoming a very tight PACWEST playoff picture.

The WolfPack currently sit atop the PACWEST standings with a record of 5W-1L-1D, with Oriol Torres and Justin Wallace leading the way with five goals apiece for TRU. This offensive pair has run rampant on opposing defenses all season long so far, but suspect defense at times from the ‘Pack has proven that they are not unbeatable. TRU keeper Travis Froehlich has allowed 10 goals in 7 games so far this season, and will need to play his best football if the WolfPack are to slow Austin Jones and the Heat offense.

Speaking of Austin Jones, he has been on quite the goal-scoring tear as of late for the Heat, notching four goals over the past five games. However, it hasn’t been a one-man goal-scoring show from the Heat. Two impressive Heat rookies in Lucas Krivak and Enzo Paal, who have both scored three goals so far this season as well, have brought balance to the Heat attack. On the back-end, Heat keeper Logan Ellis is currently the top goaltender in the PACWEST, having held opponents to only 7 goals in 6 games. On top of that, Ellis has three clean-sheets to his name – tops in the PACWEST. Front to back, the Heat are one of the most well-rounded squads in the league. Playing consistently remains the issue for the Heat.

The first game in the home-and-home series between the Heat and the WolfPack will be held at Hillside Stadium in Kamloops, BC on October 5th. Game-time is scheduled for 3 p.m. The following day, both teams will head to Nonis Sports Field at UBC’s Okanagan campus for the second game of the weekend series, with game-time scheduled for 2 p.m.

Men’s and Women’s Golf – It’s been a long time on the links for the Heat golfers, a bye week and a rainout at Bear Mountain in Victoria has meant the last competition for the team was in Kelowna September 14-15.

The cancellation of the third PACWEST tournament will mean the season is only three tournaments long and will provide one less chance for Heat golfers to climb up the leaderboards.

The men’s team, going into this final weekend of play, will need some great play and a bucketful of good fortune to capture top spot in the league. Currently in second place, the Heat trail the first place Fraser Valley Cascades by 33 strokes (1154-1187).

The Heat women’s golf team are currently in third place in the PACWEST and will need a miracle to capture first or second as the Cascades and the Vancouver Island Mariners both have a sizable lead on UBC Okanagan (631-UFV, 663-VIU, 739-UBCO).

Individual play for the women is a different story as rookie Heat golfer, Carolyn Lee (Calgary, AB), is improving every round and can look to make a move on the leaders at the final tournament. Lee is third with a four-round total of 325, seven strokes out of second and 12 out of first. The top two finishers in the PACWEST will be named All-Canadians this year, and Lee is playing her best golf right now scorching the course with a 76 Sunday (Sep 15) in her last time out.

For the men, the top two will be named All-Canadians and the Heat’s Will Deck (4th year, Kelowna, BC) sits in second spot, just two strokes (281-279) behind the leader Darren Whitehouse from Fraser Valley. Deck can’t relax though, as Fraser Valley’s Aaron Pauls with his 286 is just five strokes away from a top two finish.

Cody Bell (3rd year, Salmon Arm, BC), the 2011 PACWEST champion, is in sixth place as the next best UBC Okanagan golfer with a four round total of 294.

Deck, Bell, Lee and all of the Heat golfers will be in tough this weekend against their Fraser Valley counterparts as the final PACWEST tournament of the year is hosted at the Cascades home course – the Chilliwack Golf and Country Club. The 36-hole tournament will begin Saturday morning, with the PACWEST champions being crowned at the end of play on Sunday.

Men’s Volleyball – The UBC Okanagan Heat men’s volleyball continue their preseason play this weekend, and for the second time in three weekends bring the Trinity Western Spartans into Kelowna to square off against the top CIS school from Langley. 

Last weekend the Heat did a tour of northern B.C. alongside Canada West travel partner and valley rival Thompson Rivers University, in which Heat returned home nary a win. The WolfPack bested the Heat at Tournament Capital Centre in Kamloops on Thursday, won again at UNBC in Prince George on Friday and the trip wrapped up their weekend with a scrimmage in Quesnel on Saturday at Correlieu Secondary.


The Spartans have only played one time, a four set win over UBC, since they dropped the Heat in four sets in Kelowna on Sep 21 (25-22, 25-10, 14-25, 32-30) and look to be on pace for another national tournament berth. This Trinity squad will once again provide a stout foe for the young Heat men’s team. 

Saturday night the Spartans and Heat will get underway at 7:30 p.m., followed by a Sunday afternoon rematch at 2:30 p.m. All the action will take place at the gymnasium on UBC’s Okanagan campus.

Men’s and Women’s Cross Country – This upcoming weekend, the No. 1 ranked Heat women’s team travels to Edmonton for an Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC) event, where they will face off in a five km. event against most of the Alberta schools in the Running Room Grand Prix #3. The Saturday race (11 a.m. PST) is hosted by Concordia University College of Alberta. DOWNLOAD RACE INFO PDF

The No. 9 ranked Heat men’s cross country team will stay in-province and run in the Crescent Park Cross Country Race in South Surrey, also on Saturday, October 5th (9 a.m.). More info

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.