A large number of new players headed to the UBC Okanagan men's volleyball program will be coming from other post-secondary institutions. These five recruits will converge on the Kelowna campus for the upcoming Canada West season this fall to be a part of the 2018-19 Heat squad.
The Heat will be gaining some much needed experience with the addition of former Regina Cougar outside hitter Matthew Aubrey. The 6'10" right side played for the Cougars for two seasons before their program was disbanded after this past season.
Originally from Brisbane Australia, Aubrey will be the tallest member of this year's Heat team and one of the tallest in program history.
In his first season with Regina in 2016/17 he was named to the Canada West All-Rookie team thanks to 212 kills in his first Canada West campaign. This number led all rookies in the conference in the 16/17 season.
A former Academic All-Canadian, Aubrey will enter the management program at the Okanagan Campus with the hopes of attaining a career in business following his degree.
During his club career in Australia, the outside hitter was one of Australia's representatives at the Asian Club Championships in both 2017 and 2018. He has also been a member of the Australian national team at the U19, U21 and U23 level. In 2017 Aubrey was selected to represent his country at the World Universiade games.
Heat coach Brad Hudson on Matthew Aubrey....
"We are very excited to add Matthew to our program. Despite having represented Australia on numerous occasions I believe there is considerable room for growth in his game. He has already shown an ability to excel on the court and in the classroom in Canada West and I am looking forward to seeing what we can accomplish together."
Matthew Aubrey on coming to UBC Okanagan…
"UBCO was able to give me the opportunity to continue to play volleyball and go to school in Canada. The Heat have an excellent program and I'm looking forward to being a part of it."
The newest left side hitter added to the Heat program is 6'2" Brennan Goski from Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan. Another former member of the Regina Cougars program, Goski played four seasons with the team up until last season.
Before joining the Cougars, the outside hitter was a member of team Saskatchewan in 2014 during his final year of high school.
Goski had a highly accomplished high school career where he was named both the junior and senior athlete of the year at Riverview Collegiate. He was also named to the honour roll for his final four years at the school.
Sports runs in the family for Goski, as both Peter and Nolan Schaefer are his second cousins. Peter spend time in the NHL with the Boston Bruins while Nolan played for the San Jose Sharks at one point. His other second cousin Falin Schaefer has also been a part of the national volleyball team.
Heat coach Brad Hudson on Brennan Goski....
"I'm grateful Brennan decided to join us for his fifth and final season of Canada West volleyball. He's someone who continued to improve throughout his career and I am extremely excited to see what more we can bring to his game. His previous successes are a by-product of an incredible work ethic that will help drive his new teammates to achieve new levels as well. He is someone who has set the bar very high for himself on and off the court and I admire that determination."
Brennan Goski on coming to UBC Okanagan…
"The coach has been nothing short of amazing for me and helping me finish my U SPORTS volleyball career"
The Heat will add some depth at the setter position for the new season with the addition of transfer Caleb Konrad from Douglas College. The 6'3" Konrad is originally from Abbotsford, BC before he committed to the Royals and eventually the Heat.
Konrad is familiar with Heat head coach Brad Hudson already, as Hudson was the head coach at Douglas for 10 seasons including all three seasons Konrad spent at the school.
In his first season with the Royals the setter was recognized as a PACWEST All-Star along with being named the Rookie of the Year and a provincial tournament all-star. His team would capture the PACWEST title in 2014/15 and in his final season with Douglas in 2015/16 he was named a conference All-Star.
During his high school career, Konrad would be named to the provincial team for three consecutive years starting in 2011 through 2013. A member of the Fraser Valley Volleyball Club, the setter would help his team win three consecutive medals at the provincial championships including a provincial title in 2011/12.
During this past season he was also a part of the national excellence program.
Heat coach Brad Hudson on Caleb Konrad....
"Caleb's commitment came as an extremely welcome surprise. He has a very well-rounded skill-set coupled with a drive and determination that all elite performers require. Plus, he is a thoughtful and caring teammate who understands that individual success can only truly be achieved through a commitment to team. He will help drive a committed high performing culture."
Caleb Konrad on coming to UBC Okanagan…
"Having the opportunity to play for someone who has mentored me throughout my post-secondary career is something I thought would never happen again. I am blessed to have the chance to play with a very young and talented group, and a coach I have an immense amount of respect for."
The final recruit in this year's class is 6'2" setter Denham O'Reilly who is a transfer student from Vancouver Island University.
O'Reilly started his post-secondary career at Thompson Rivers where he played for two seasons before transferring to the Nanaimo campus.
Volleyball runs in the family for Denham as his sister Lauren played at Michigan State University and now plays professionally in the Netherlands. His younger sister Brie currently plays for the Trinity Western Spartans as well.
As a member of the Fraser Valley Volleyball Club, O'Reilly would win the national club championship with his U16 team which was coached by Jordan Geransky.
In the classroom, O'Reilly will enroll in the bachelor of arts program with the hopes of graduating with a degree in Human Kinetics. Following post-secondary school the setter hopes to pursue physiotherapy.
Heat coach Brad Hudson on Denham O'Reilly....
"Denham checks off all the boxes for us. First, his strength of character completely aligns with our program pillars. Second, he embodies the qualities we look for in a setter. One of those qualities is the ability to make those around you better and I have no doubt Denham will do everything in his power to do just that."
Denham O'Reilly on coming to UBC Okanagan…
"It's a young group of guys that I'm pumped to come into, as an older guy, and to set the group dynamic for the years to come."
6'6" middle Johnson Yi continues the trend of transfers among this year's recruiting class as he will join the Heat from Douglas College just like Caleb Konrad.
Originally from Taiwan, Yi played his high school volleyball at Eric Hamber High in Vancouver before playing three seasons with Douglas. Another player familiar with Brad Hudson from his time with the Royals, Yi will look to make an immediate impact for the Heat in the middle of the court this season.
In the classroom, he will be studying psychology with the hopes of eventually becoming a professional volleyball player after his time with the Heat. A strong student, the Vancouver product was an honour roll student his final three years of high school.
During his high school career the middle blocker was a four-time athlete of the year along with being the MVP of his volleyball team on three separate occasions and basketball MVP in 2012 and 14'.
Heat coach Brad Hudson on Johnson Yi....
"Johnson is a welcome addition. He's someone who essentially grew up in my gym and the level of trust is very high. He is an exceptional read blocker and will be a great resource for our young middle crew. Johnson also understands sacrifice and selflessness. These qualities make him a reliable teammate and someone we can count on as we continue to reshape our program."
Johnson Yi on coming to UBC Okanagan…
"I am excited to come to UBCO to compete for the Heat alongside a bunch of great guys, an awesome coaching staff and to grow as a student athlete."
These five will join five other incoming players: Téo Ardanaz, Noah Campbell, Jacob Dewolff, Ryder Kehler, and Cameron Vanderveen to fill the men's roster [Read More].
The Heat open their season on the road (Oct. 19-20) in Edmonton at MacEwan University and play their first home matches he following weekend (Oct. 26-27) when they host the Canada West champion and national silver medallist, Trinity Western Spartans.