What you need to know - U SPORT National Championship
- The Heat women will travel to Laval to compete for the U SPORTS national championship.
- Seeded fifth in the tournament, UBCO are one of eight teams to descend Quebec City looking for a national medal.
- This is the second national championship berth for the Heat in three years and second since joining U SPORTS in 2011-12. In 2016 UBC Okanagan came home with a national bronze medal from Brandon.
U SPORT NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP
All matches to be played at the Amphithéâtre Desjardins-Université Laval (PEPS) in Quebec City
Canada West semifinalists:
- After sweeping Manitoba at home to advance in the Canada West playoffs the Heat stumbled in Vancouver, falling in two straight to the Thunderbirds. Although not advancing to their second CW final in three years head coach Steve Manuel indicated it wasn't all for not as the team took advantage of the time off with rest and a refocus on studies.
- The rest was needed as the Heat travelled significantly in the second half of the season with trips to Brandon and Saskatoon on back to back weekends.
Players with nationals experience:
- This is the first national tournament for three of the Heat's starters. Second year setter Sara McCreary, third year middle Aidan Lea and fourth year outside hitter Ann Richards. Lea and Richards both played division one for NCAA squads. In Lea's one year at the University of Colorado she did not see and playoff action. In Richards three seasons at the University of Central Florida the Saskatchewan product did not log in US post-season experience.
- The UBC Okanagan boast one of the tallest lineups in the country with all five starters excluding the setter and the libero standing at least 6'1". Middle Aidan Lea is one of the taller players in the country at 6'5" and outside hitter Ann Richards, at 6'3", is one of the tallest attackers in Canada West.
- The entire roster lists 11 of 14 players at six feet and over.
Head to head with the Ryerson Rams (0-0)
- These two teams have never faced each other in an official match since UBC Okanagan joined U SPORTS in 2011/12.
- Ryerson played a perfect season going through the OUA with a 19-0 conference season and the sweeping through the playoffs with three straight wins to capture the OUA crown
- Last year the Rams played host the U SPORTS national championship and returns most of the roster so Ryerson will have an experienced championship squad in Laval.
- Head coach Dustin Reid was the OUA East Division Coach of the Year, he has been at the helm since the 2008-09 season. He was also the OUA coach of the year in 2009-10.
A former Canadian national team player, Reid represented Canada in more than 120 international matches including two World Cups. He also played professionally for four years in Germany and Switzerland after playing one season with the University of Toronto.
- In the playoffs, the No. 1-ranked Rams swept the Waterloo Warriors 3-0 in quarter-finals, and beat the Western Mustangs 3-1 in the semifinal. Ryerson would cap the undefeated campaign and advance to their second national championship after playing host last season by taking down the defending champion McMaster Marauders in four sets.
- The historic year didn't go unnoticed, with seven Rams players earning end of season OUA honours – highlighted by Dale Iwanoczko Award of Merit winner and fifth-year libero Julie Longman, who was also named to a First Team All-Star. Theanna Vernon and Cailin Wark were also named to the First Team, alongside Second Team honouree Lauren Veltman and All-Rookies Janelle Albert, Alicia Lam and Lindsay Kleuskens.
- Kills per set: Lauren Veltman (3.45)
- Blocks per set: Theanna Vernon (1.29)
- Assists per set: Alicia Lam (9.32)
- Digs per set: Julie Longman (4.09)