KELOWNA, BC – Just before the Heat head to their fourth straight Canada West Final Four, fifth year outside hitter Kaitlynn Given and first year setter Sara McCreary are being recognized as among the best in the conference this season. Given has been named a Canada West Second Team All-Star and McCreary has been named to the Canada West All-Rookie team.
In her final season with the Heat, Kaitlynn Given played in all 24 matches. She finished with a stat line of 200 kills, a .213 hitting percentage, 22 service aces, 167 digs, 47 total blocks, and 247 while committing just six defensive errors.
UBC Okanagan head coach Steve Manuel had this to say about his fifth year.
“This was the first year that we had the full arsenal of Kaitlynn Given available to us and she showed what she can do when fully healthy. Kaitlynn has always been a leader on the team and has had a strong hand in creating the culture that has allowed us to make four straight trips to the Canada West Final Four but this year, without any nagging injuries, Kaitlynn has been lights out for us. Her numbers don’t top any one category but she did all tasks very well with very few errors. This efficiency to her game this year is what the other coaches saw and why she earned a very deserving All-Star.”
In her first season with the team, Sara McCreary played in every match on the conference schedule, and started in five. She totalled 344 assists in 76 sets played, averaging 4.53 assists per set, putting her in the top 15 in Canada West for both total assists and average. She also finished with 14 service aces and 79 digs.
Sara has also proven that she can handle herself in clutch time, as in the clinching match against the Calgary Dinos to put the Heat back in the Final Four this year she had 55 assists. That is the second-most in a match by any Heat setter, and is the most ever for the Heat in a four-set match.
Coach Manuel, unsurprisingly, was just as happy for his freshman setter on the nod to the rookie team.
“After yesterday’s performance by Sara there is not really any need to explain why she earned a spot on the conference All-Rookie team. Sara was integral to our rotation all year long and adeptly handled the setting duties when brought on the court but maybe what wasn’t noticed was the leadership and desire to win that Sara also brought with her on the court. I noticed it, my coaching staff noticed it, and her teammates noticed it, these intangibles are tough for any first year player to bring to a university program, even tougher to bring to a veteran program that has designs on attending a second straight national championships.”
The Heat women’s volleyball team have placed at least one player on the conference all-star team every year minus their first in Canada West, 2011/12.
The Canada West Final Four is up next for UBC Okanagan, going into the championship the Heat are the 4-seed and play the host and top seed, the Alberta Pandas, on Friday night. Match will get underway at 5:30 p.m. PST at the Saville Centre in Edmonton, Alberta. Three of the four teams will advance to the U Sports national championships hosted by Ryerson University in Toronto , On. the following week (March 16-18), a win Friday night will send UBCO back the the national championship.
List of Canada West All-Stars for UBC Okanagan:
2016/17: Second team: Kaitlynn Given (WVB)
2015/16: First team: Katie Wuttunee (WVB); Second team: Katy Klomps (WVB), Brianna Beamish (WVB)
2014/15: First team: Katy Klomps (WVB); Second team: Katie Wuttunee (WVB)
2013/14: Second team: Katy Klomps (WVB)
2012/13: Second team: Emily Oxland (WVB)
2011/12: Second team: Nate Speijer (MVB)
UBC Okanagan, has now earned nine Canada West All-Star awards overall since it joined the Canada West Universities Athletic Association in September of 2011.
List of Canada West All-Rookies for UBC Okanagan:
2016/17: Kyle Hinchey (MVB), Sara McCreary (WVB)
2015/16: Eli Risso (MVB), Devon Cote (MVB)
2014/15: Aldrich Berrios (MBB)
2013/14: Lars Bornemann (MVB), Michelle Jackszuk (WVB)
Canada West Universities Athletic Association has been giving out All-Rookie teams since the 2013/14 season.
2016-17 CW Women’s Volleyball First Team All-Stars
Name / Position / University / Year / Hometown
Meg Casault / OH / Alberta / 5 / Edmonton, Alta.
Danielle Brisebois / OH / UBC / 5 / Bolton, Ont.
Kate Pexman / OH / Calgary / 5 / Calgary, Alta.
Iuliia Pakhomenko / OH / Thompson Rivers / 5 / Donetsk, Ukraine
Sophie Carpentier / OH / Trinity Western / 5 / Ottawa, Ont.
Nikki Cornwall / S / Trinity Western / 4 / Coquitlam, B.C.
Elly Wendel / OH / Trinity Western / 5 / Caronport, Sask.
2016-17 CW Women’s Volleyball Second Team All-Stars
Name / Position / University / Year / Hometown
Kacey Otto / OH / Alberta / 5 / Calgary, Alta.
Mariah Walsh / S / Alberta / 4 / Calgary, Alta.
Nikala Majewski / OH / Brandon / 3 / Winnipeg, Man.
Mary Thomson / S / Brandon / 4 / Brandon, Man.
Maggie Li / M / UBC / 4 / North Saanich, B.C.
Kaitlynn Given / OH / UBCO / 5 / Kelowna, B.C.
Cassidy Kinsella / OH / MacEwan / 4 / Leduc, Alta.
2016-17 CW Women’s Volleyball All-Rookies
Name / Position / University / Hometown
Vanessa Jarman / M / Alberta / Edmonton, Alta.
Olivia Furlan / S / UBC / Calgary, Alta.
Sara McCreary / S / UBCO / Edmonton, Alta.
Hannah Tanasichuk / OH / Calgary / Calgary, Alta.
Kearley Abbott / OH / Manitoba / Winnipeg, Man.
Mikayla Funk / OH / Thompson Rivers / Surrey, B.C.
Abby Spratt / S / Thompson Rivers / Calgary, Alta.