The University of British Columbia

PREVIEW: Golden Bears will be a tough matchup for the Heat's home opener

PREVIEW: Golden Bears will be a tough matchup for the Heat's home opener

What you need to know


  • The Heat men opened the year with a bye weekend, but they will get right into the thick of top conference play this weekend in their home opener. 
  • UBCO will host the Alberta Golden Bears this weekend for a pair of matches. First serve on Friday night is at 8 p.m. First serve on Saturday is at 6 p.m.
  • Alberta is off to a good start, in their opening weekend they managed a split off consensus preseason favourite, Trinity Western Spartans. 

GAME TIMES (PT) 

FRIDAY, OCT 25th 

Volleyball (M) | Canada West conference Home Opener
8 PM |
 UBC Okanagan Heat vs the Alberta Golden Bears | Webcast | Live Stats
Ticket Information  | @ UBC Okanagan Gymnasium, Kelowna, BC

SATURDAY, OCT 26th  

Volleyball (M) | Canada West conference match
6 PM |
 UBC Okanagan Heat vs the Alberta Golden Bears | Webcast | Live Stats
Ticket Information  | @ UBC Okanagan Gymnasium, Kelowna, BC 


First action of the season:

  • An injury-plagued 2018-19 for UBCO forced the Heat into a disappointing final conference record of (1-21). Winning their final match of the season last February, the Heat hope that momentum will carry into the start of this year.
  • A robust preseason schedule, UBCO played nine matches to prepare for the upcoming Canada West season. Competing in both the prestigious Dino Cup and the Blue Team Cup, the Heat managed wins over Mount Royal and the University of Calgary in early fall play. 
  • The first weekend for the Heat was the Regina bye weekend. The Regina men's volleyball team folded before the start of last season, so when the Heat women play Regina, the men have an extra bye.  
  • UBCO has not won their opening match since 2016 when they took out the visiting Brandon Bobcats in four sets.

Players to watch:

  • After leading the team with 203 kills in his second year, third-year outside hitter Max Heppell will be looking to build off that total.
  • Canada West All-Rookie team member in 2017-18, Caleb Funk is back with the middle for Heat after sitting out all of last season while rehabbing an injured knee.

Head-to-head with Alberta: (0-16)

  • A consistent national contender, the Heat have yet to capture a victory over the Golden Bears in their Canada West history and fell in straight sets in both matchups last season in Alberta. 

Scouting Alberta

Season opening weekend:

  • Alberta continued to be one of the powerhouse programs in the Canada West conference last season, finishing (17-5) and earning the national bronze medal. 
  • This year they opened their season at home against the reigning national champions, Trinity Western Spartans. After losing the first match in straight sets, the Bears bounced back for the five-set victory a day later. 
  • Not on the roster this season for Alberta is Taryq Sani, who was a second-team all-star last season in his third year. The Golden Bears still boast two players that competed for Team Canada this past summer, both Braedon Friesen and Jordan Canham competed at the men's U21 World Championship in Manama, Bahrain, from July 18 to 27.

Players to watch:

  • After the first two matches, Jordan Canham is leading the Golden Bears so far this season with 23 kills and 24 points.
  • Max Elgert had 74 assists against the Spartans last weekend, good for fifth in the conference.