The University of British Columbia

Sophia Furlan

Sophia Furlan

When did you desire / aspire (How old) to become a U SPORTS athlete and play your sport and attend university?

I always knew I wanted to go to university but I hadn’t thought too much about playing volleyball after club until I was about 17 years old. That was around the time when other girls on my club team were committing to play for U SPORTS teams. I had been to a couple varsity games and thought it was super cool and exciting but never had the goal to be on one, mostly because it was so foreign to me and I had no idea how to go about it and start the recruitingprocess. Once I started talking to my club coaches and others involved in my volleyball career, I realized that it was actually a possibility! Opportunities started to present themselves and I eventually and landed here in Kelowna.

Follow up – what choices did you make / work you had to put in to achieve that goal?

I had the choice to be a setter for one school (a position which I was familiar with) or a libero/defensive specialist for UBCO (a position that was fairly new to me, as I had only done it for a couple months) as there were already setters here. I was originally supposed to be a setter on my u18 club team but due to unforeseen circumstances, we needed a libero. After finding that out, I had thought more about where I saw myself attending school and decided that UBCO was somewhere I wanted to go, as well as a team I wanted the opportunity to play for.

Most memorable moment in your sport (on or off the competition surface) while representing UBCO?

One of the most memorable moments was getting to meet the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge after playing an intersquad match. To have them come up to us after the match and ask questions about our sporting and schooling lives was very surreal. The whole time leading up to the date was extremely busy with preparation around the university and how we were going to enter the gym, line up and rules about meeting the Royal Couple. I didn’t fully appreciate how big it all was until I was shaking Kate Middleton’s hand and joking about them bringing their “trainers” (as she put it) next time. The next day I saw that the visit was featured on a global Snapchat story as well as on the Kensington Palace Instagram, which is pretty crazy to think about.

When you are done as a student athlete and you look at the next crew of Heat athletes, how would you like to be remembered as a student athlete?

I would like to be remembered as someone that people could talk to or have a conversation with, even if they didn’t know me very well. My past two years I have tried to be more friendly and introduce myself to athletes I don’t know because it’s a lot nicer to see a fellow student athlete and wave or smile at them, rather than walk past each other like two total strangers. I like to think that younger athletes who may be shy to start out will eventually branch out from their own team and find out how simple just talking to fellow athletes is, especially because we’re really all on the same team. That’s what worked for me, so I figure I might as well try and do the same for others.

Pregame ritual – what is it and when did you start doing it? Did it change when you started playing for the Heat?

I actually didn't have one before playing for the Heat. It started after one of my first games when I had been called in to serve and I was so nervous that I served it right into the middle of the net which was definitely embarrassing. The next night I was thinking about the serve and kind of laughed at myself because at that point, it was in the past and there was nothing I could do about it. I ended up drawing a smiley face on my leg where I already have two little marks on my skin, I figured that it would remind me to smile once in a while and be able to shake off mistakes. I have pretty much been drawing one ever since!

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