KELOWNA, BC – After completion of the largest women’s selection camp ever and the first one held at the new home of Canada Women’s volleyball in the Richmond Olympic Oval, Aidan Lea current middle for the UBC Okanagan Heat women’s volleyball team been selected as one of the 24 athletes that will compete this summer for Team Canada.
The 6’6″ middle Aidan, in the Arts program at UBC Okanagan, finished her first season with the Heat after transferring from the University of Colorado last spring.
This is the second straight year the Heat have placed a member of their squad on the national team and the first time that the student athlete will return from competing and training with the national team and compete again for UBCO.
Brianna Beamish made the National Team last summer (2016) after completing her fifth and final season of competition for UBC Okanagan. Beamish will join Lea on the team this summer as Beamish made the team once again after a very successful year playing volleyball in Austria for a VC Tirol, Innsbruck.
Former Kelowna Owl and a product of the Junior Heat Club Program Aidan Lea is the third athlete to hit the elite status at UBC Okanagan to suit up for their country on the highest level, in their sport. Along with Beamish, Lea will join fellow Kelowna Secondary product, Marisa Field, on the national team. Field played volleyball at the Kelowna campus for the Lakers in 2004/05 and 2005/06 – all three have been coached extensively by five-time national coach (2x in CIS / USPORTS and 3x in CCAA) of the year and UBC Okanagan Heat head coach Steve Manuel.
Lea had an outstanding first year with UBC Okanagan leading the Heat back to the Canada West Final Four for the fourth straight time more than capably filling the gap left by Beamish and two Canada West (CW) All-Star middle in Katy Klomps and Katie Wuttunee. She led Canada West in hitting percentage (.350), the highest hitting percentage in the Heat’s history, and the 15th-best percentage in Canada West history. Her efforts in the CW Quarter-finals against Calgary led to the Heat’s unbelievable comeback on the road against the Dinos with back-to-back tremendous performances in the second and third games. Had a career high 19 kills in game two to help force a game three, and once again played exceptionally well as she finished with 16 kills on .393 hitting to help the team advance to the Final Four
Playing in every match this season she finished the year with 183 kills and 74 total blocks, also named a Finalist as the Outstanding Athlete of the Year at UBC Okanagan.
Lea, Beamish and the rest of Team Canada will play and train all summer in Richmond, BC at the Olympic Oval with some feature events over the course of the next few months.
One of the highlights of the season will be FIVB World Grand Prix – one of the premier international tournaments for women’s volleyball. It will take place at the Richmond Oval, in Richmond, BC from July 21 to July 23. The city will host six matches among four teams in Group 2 – Canada, Germany, Peru and Czech Republic.
The team will also compete in a Pan Am Cup in Peru this June and the NORCECA Continental Championship (Trinidad) in October. The team will also train/play in Anaheim with the U.S. women’s team from June 12-14