Kelowna, BC - With two new strong players joining the women's team and incumbent McKenna Lesiuk returning for her third year the Heat women's golf team look to climb back into national contention for the 2018 season, as the season opens this weekend in Richmond.
Coaching the team, in his sixth season, will be guided once again by Cass Hritzuk, who was named the PACWEST coach of the year this past season. Hritzuk will also have former Heat student-athlete Cody Bell by his side for the second consecutive season.
The defending PACWEST silver medalists on the women side will also be back in action this weekend in Richmond. It will be a fairly new look team on the women's side as well as Mckenna Lesiuk marks the only returnee with the graduation of Emily Adams. Two rookies will get the start for the team as Samantha Copeland and dual-sport athlete Rebecca Reitsma will travel to Quilchena for this weekends tournament.
Lesiuk noted that this years girls team could accomplish some great things together "I look forward to showing them the ropes both on and off the golf course. They are very solid players and I think we have a chance to win week-in week-out."
Head coach Cass Hritzuk is very excited for the new season on both the men's and women's side. "We are very excited about this upcoming season. This year we have a roster full of talent on the women's side and the men's team has some new up and coming talent."
The Heat will travel to Quilchena Golf and Country Club in Richmond for the opening weekend of play and the par-73 layout should challenge the golfers while also giving up some birdie opportunities. This will be the first time the Heat golf teams have played the "Q" Club in tournament play since the programs inception.
Men's Travel team:
It will be a slightly new look team this season as former All-Canadian James Casorso has moved on due to graduation but three new players who were not on the team last season will make an appearance in Ethan Hunt, Marcus Apchin and Naoki Takahashi. Hunt and Apchin are both Kelowna products while Takahashi, who was on the team in 2016-17, is an international student from Japan.
The two veterans on this year's team will be Nik Federko, who started in all five tournaments last season and Oliver Rizun, who is in his fourth year with the program and also played all five tournaments in 2017. These two established players will be one of the best 1-2 punches in all the PACWEST this season.