For the second year in a row, Volleyball Canada selects Aidan Lea to their senior National Team.
Lea has been training with the top squad in Canada since Mid-May after a strong year as the Heat a middle blocker, who in her third year earned a Canada West All-Star and a U SPORTS All-Canadian this past season
We reached Lea after a recent practice, in Richmond, where she describes the training as grueling.
Exhausted, Lea explains, "I've been training twice a day for the past few weeks with only one day off so far, even when the team was in Edmonton, five stayed behind, and trained."
Training has ramped up since the early travel squad returned from the Challenge Cup in Edmonton. Lea has noticed an increase in the level of training. "Emotionally, it is [super] exciting and I'm thrilled to working and learning with such a high level of player and group of coaches"
According to Lea, the opportunity to play with the National Team is an incredible opportunity to improve her game. "It is an outstanding chance to grow as a player, as an individual and within a team."
Even after her successes as a member of the Junior Heat Volleyball program and into university, Lea never imagined she'd find success at this level. "This is so far beyond what I thought of possible as a young volleyball player, my dream was to play post-secondary. I achieved that [playing at Colorado University and now UBCO after a career at Kelowna Secondary] and it is wild that I've climbed even higher as a member of the national team."
An opportunity to attend a 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup match featuring Team Canada reinforced Lea's desire to compete for her country. "I was watching the women's soccer team host the World Cup and I realized then how much playing for your country means. It is such an honour to now have the chance to play for Canada in my sport."
Lea's schedule with the senior national team will consume her entire summer and potentially roll into the UBC Okanagan Heat training camp and early preseason matches with national team commitments extending into September.
- July 6-15 – Pan Am Cup – Santo Domingo, DOM
- August 17-September 3 – Europe Tour
- September 23-26 – Pre World Championship training camp (Sapporo, JPN – TBC)
- September 27-October 20 – World Championships – Japan (Canada's 1st round pool in Sapporo)
The UBCO women's volleyball schedule was just announced last week shows the Heat opening their season on the road versus the MacEwan Griffins (Oct. 19-20).
The first action on the Okanagan hardwood for the squad will be Friday, October 26th when they host the Trinity Western Spartans. First serve Friday night will be at 6 p.m.