First round of recruits for the Heat men's volleyball program in 2018 show that head coach Brad Hudson is bringing in an outstanding class of student athletes to the UBC Okanagan squad as they prepare for another year of Canada West competition.
Hudson has brought in a wide mix of players to fill out his roster with two middles, two for the outside and a libero coming to the squad.
One player from Regina is the farthest a recruit will come as one other is from Alberta and the remaining three hail from the Lower Mainland place the incoming five geographically.
The tallest recruit in this year's class, Téo Ardanaz, is a 6'8" middle who has never played a game of high school volleyball but has honed his skills with one of the largest youth volleyball clubs in BC, the Seaside Volleyball Club.
As a part of SVC since 2013 Ardanaz, who hails from Tsawwassen, has taken a strange route to play university volleyball.
Concentrating on his education Ardanaz decided to further his education in the Conseil Scolaire Francophone in BC, an all French school district, he attended École Gabrielle-Roy in Surrey. Because of the small enrollment numbers, there has never been a boys volleyball team at the school, and despite his many appeals to try to play for another school team, Ardanaz never played in a high school game.
Ardanaz played basketball in school in lieu of volleyball and was a multiple year all-star averaging over 25 points and 20 rebounds per game and making the provincial team in basketball.
As strong as his basketball resume is, Ardanaz has always preferred volleyball, and has been a member of Team BC as well as being selected to the Youth National Development Program.
A VBC all-star with the SVC club team 4-times (14U, 15U, 16Um 18U) his team was a Provincial champion thrice (14U,16U,18U-for the first time in club history at that level), a Provincial Silver medalist at 15U, and a Provincial bronze medalist at 17U. Twice he was a national silver medalist (14U,and 18U).
Focusing on education at the secondary school level it is no surprise that Ardanaz has a plan when it comes to his education at UBC Okanagan.
The middle blocker is enrolling in the Faculty of Arts and looks to the social sciences as the place where he will make his mark in the world.
Heat coach Brad Hudson on Téo Ardanaz....
"Téo is a high achieving student-athlete who complements our growing recruiting class and our roster. Most importantly, having coached Téo with our Canada Games group, I know he will be a tremendous teammate and competitor. Téo's character will enrich our culture and help propel our program forward."
Téo Ardanaz on coming to UBC Okanagan…
"I chose to enroll at UBC Okanagan for the coexistence of a quality athletic program alongside a strong educational dynamic. For volleyball, I had a great experience playing under Brad Hudson at the 2017 Canada Summer Games and I enjoyed the team feeling during my campus visit. Academically, I am excited to pursue a UBC degree."
"I am extremely excited to be at UBCO this coming fall and compete at the same time for the Heat! I appreciated Brad Hudson's coaching style and philosophy which I experience at the 2017 Canada Summer games. I also am looking forward to becoming a part of the team culture that I enjoyed during my campus visit and I am fired up to play in the Furnace."
Leftside from Edmonton and three-year member of the Alberta Provincial Team, Noah Campbell, will suit up for the UBC Okanagan men's volleyball team next fall and Heat head coach Brad Hudson.
Playing his high school ball at Edmonton's Harry Ainley Composite High the 6'3" Campbell has been leading the Titans to a back-to-back city championships and a 2017 provincial championship.
As a part of the FOG Volleyball Club since 2017, Campbell's FOG Black U18 men's team won the Alberta Provincial Championships in Edmonton (April 28-29) with Campbell being selected as a provincial all-star. He led the team with a 2.2 passing average and 50 kills per tournament. In 2017 Campbell also earned himself a provincial all-star as his team came home with the bronze medal.
Campbell's skills has landed him on the Alberta Provincial team roster these past three summers, cracking the U16 U17 U18 squads.
Looking at Campbell's classroom goals has the Titan choosing UBC Okanagan for its highly rated Applied Science program as he visions himself as one day working as an engineer in Kelowna.
Heat coach Brad Hudson on Noah Campbell....
"Noah complements our current roster with his exceptional ball control and competitiveness. More importantly, he possesses the character we look for in our HEAT. We are extremely excited to welcome an outstanding young man and his family to UBCO and we all look forward to his development as a student-athlete on and off the court."
Noah Campbell on coming to UBC Okanagan…
"The main reasons why I chose UBC Okanagan, were its great engineering program, its growing volleyball program, and the beautiful area. The thing I'm most excited about, is the opportunity to join a team alongside many other great recruits, and to compete with them over the next five years."
Langley Fundamental Secondary School's outstanding middle, 6-foot five Jacob Dewolff, will stay in BC to play post-secondary volleyball after committing to the UBC Okanagan Heat men's volleyball program.
Playing for both the Fraser Valley Volleyball Club and the Force Volleyball Club the past few years Dewolff has been a part of some strong teams on the BC club circuit.
Third place at provincials in 2016 (U16) with Fraser Valley Volleyball Club, then in 2017 with the U18 Force Volleyball Club he finished in second place at the provincial championship. Finally, this spring as team captain he led the U18 Fraser Valley Volleyball Club to a silver medal finish.
This past year with his high school team Dewolff earned a Fraser Valley volleyball all-star as he was captain of his Titans senior boys volleyball team. In Grade nine Dewolff won a BC Provincial high school championship and then in Grades 10-12 he played for the senior team.
Helping his footwork in the middle Dewolff has used soccer as a cross training sport having played for years in the Langley United Soccer Association (LUSA) and he also laced up the boots this past year for his high school.
Entering the Management program at UBC Okanagan Dewolff hopes to utilize the knowledge his business degree will give him in the electrical trade.
Heat coach Brad Hudson on Jacob Dewolff....
"I am extremely excited to have Jacob join our program. While he is a gifted athlete and a truly exceptional competitor, he also a thoughtful and selfless teammate. He understands not only how to win, but how to make those around him better. Heat men's volleyball will quite likely have one of the youngest rosters in the league next year but what we lack in experience we will make up with heart, commitment, and dedication. Jacob, along with the other members of this years class will only add to the foundation laid this year."
Jacob Dewolff on coming to UBC Okanagan…
"I chose UBCO to have the opportunity to play high level volleyball with great teammates and coaches."
The Heat defense will get some added depth next season with the addition of 6' libero Ryder Kehler from Regina, a soon to be graduate of Dr. Martin LeBoldus Catholic High School.
The Saskatchewan product has been a member of the provincial team the past three seasons and this past year for his play, he was named the U17 Male Indoor Athlete of the Year by the Saskatchewan Volleyball Association.
In the classroom on the Okanagan campus of UBC, Kehler will be pursuing a degree in Human Kinetics with the hopes of one day becoming an athletic trainer when his volleyball career is over.
Kehler has had success throughout his high school career as a member of the Golden Suns in both basketball and volleyball, as he finished second and third in provincial volleyball in Saskatchewan along with a sixth place finish in basketball this past season. In the city championship Kehler and his LeBoldus team has finished first in both his grade 11 and 12 seasons.
Playing volleyball since he was 13, Kehler has been a part of the Regina Volleyball Club for the past six years, beginning in 2013.
Heat coach Brad Hudson on Ryder Kehler....
"I've been very fortunate to coach some exceptional liberos and I value what that position brings immensely. Ryder possesses the mental, physical, and technical attributes to play this position at the highest levels. Plus, his character and work ethic completely align with the ambition of our program."
Ryder Kehler on coming to UBC Okanagan…
"I'm excited to see how much I can grow as a volleyball player and as a person, and I know I will be surrounding myself with people that will push me to that level as well."
Playing on the outside Cameron Vanderveen is a 6'5" soon to be graduate of Abbotsford Christian Secondary but calls Chilliwack as his hometown.
Vanderveen is a multisport star at Abby Christian starring in the volleyball team as well as track and field and he led his Knights to unprecedented heights this year bringing home a provincial silver medal in the BC High School AA provincial championships, the highest place Abbotsford Christian has ever placed in their history. At the championship Vanderveen found himself named to the first all-star team in a season where he was also a Fraser Valley all-star and a Christian school tournament all-star, his third straight all-star at that particular championship.. .
Outside of school Vanderveen hit balls for the Orangemen Volleyball Club for the past three years, since 2015, in 2016 he was his team's most inspirational player.
On the track Vanderveen excelled at the javelin and also in the pole vault and if her were to play another sport with volleyball he would continue to pursue the pole vault.
Undecided about the exact direction his schooling will take at the Okanagan campus of UBC, Vanderveen is a fan of the quality of education UBC offers, recently ranked the 38th best university in the world, but he is curious about engineering and perhaps finishing with an applied science degree.
Heat coach Brad Hudson on Cameron Vanderveen....
"We are all very excited that Cam has decided to join us. He's a terrific young man. We believe Cam projects as a prototypical control wing with a great first touch, possessing the ability to score in a variety of ways. Cam is clearly very humble but also determined. Both qualities we value. Plus, when he came on his visit, he fit in right away with our current crew. All the feedback from our coaches and athletes was hugely positive and we knew Cam was someone we wanted in our gym full time."
Cameron Vanderveen on coming to UBC Okanagan…
"I chose UBC Okanagan because it is not too far away from home but far enough away that it will be a new experience and also because of volleyball and because of the variety of courses and degrees they offer."
"I am excited to compete at this level of play as well as meeting new people through the sport."