The University of British Columbia

PREVIEW: Road trip to Edmonton on tap as Heat open up Canada West season

PREVIEW: Road trip to Edmonton on tap as Heat open up Canada West season

What you need to know


  • The Heat women's volleyball team will open up their Canada West campaign this weekend on the road, when they travel to Edmonton for two matches with the MacEwan Griffins.
  • With the departure of three significant senior players off of last years squad, this Heat team is going to have a lot of fresh faces but will look to continue the programs success
  • MacEwan and the Heat faced off in preseason in Kamloops, with the Griffins capturing a four-set victory at the end of September.

GAME TIMES (PT)

FRIDAY, OCT 19th

Volleyball (W) / Canada West Conference Opener
5 PM PT |
UBC Okanagan Heat (0-0) at the MacEwan Griffins (0-0)  | Webcast | Live Stats | Tickets
@ Dr. David W. Atkinson Gymnasium, MacEwan University, Edmonton, AB

SATURDAY, OCT 20th

Volleyball (W) / Canada West Conference Match
4 PM PT |
UBC Okanagan Heat (0-0) at the MacEwan Griffins (0-0)  | Webcast | Live Stats | Tickets
@ Dr. David W. Atkinson Gymnasium, MacEwan University, Edmonton, AB


Preseason schedule:

  • The preseason training schedule would consist of two separate tournaments, the annual TRU Battle of the Borders in Kamloops, along with the Dino Cup which was hosted by the University of Calgary.
  • Although the Heat failed to pick up a win in their five preseason matches, the young team is looking at it as a learning experience prepare for the conference season.

Players to keep an eye on:

  • Returning middle Aidan Lea is going to be the focal point of the offense once again this season, as the Team Canada member was a first team All-Canadian last season following 226 kills on a .336 hitting percentage. The 6'5" Lea also has 152 blocks in her two prior season with the team after transferring from the University of Colorado.
  • The quarterback and distributor of this year's squad will once again be human kinetics student Sara McCreary. The Calgary product led all of U SPORTS last season, averaging 10.22 assists per set in conference play and her 889 total assists was good enough for fifth all-time in a season in the Canada West.

Rookies who could make an impact:

  • Following the loss of outside hitters Siobhan Fitzpatrick and Michelle Jakszuk, rookies Sydney Grills and Jade Bussard are looking to state their claim to one of the outside spots in the starting lineup.
  • The 6'3" Grills was a member of the Junior National Team this past season, while Bussard is a graduate of École Notre Dame High in Red Deer, Alberta and comes from the Central Alberta Queens Volleyball Club.

Head to head with the Griffins: (8W - 0L)

  • In Canada West play the Heat have never lost to MacEwan, although when these two teams met up in preseason the Heat would fall to the Edmonton school.
  • Last season the Heat would capture both matches fairly easily, with one going to four sets with the other being a three set sweep.

Scouting MacEwan

Last season's finish:

  • The Griffins would finish the 2017-18 season in 12th spot in the Canada West with a record of 4-20.
  • It was a strong finish to last season however for the team from Edmonton, as they would capture their final two games against the Winnipeg Wesmen to snap a long losing skid.

Key performer:

  • Middle blocker Haley Gilfillan is coming off a year in which she had 98 blocks which was good for the seventh-best mark in Canada West. Although the Griffins graduated four starters from 2017-18, they didn't lose anything in the middle, which figures to be perhaps their greatest strength this season.

New additions:

  • Janna Ogle / OH / 4 / Edmonton, AB / University of Calgary
  • Tess Pearman / OH / 1 / Ponoka, AB / Ponoka Secondary
  • Amanda McDonald / S / 1 / Edmonton, AB / University of Milwaukee
  • Quinn Anderson / MB / 1 / Sherwood Park, AB / Bev Facey
  • Megan Foxcroft / LB / 1 / Edmonton, AB / Strathcona
2019 Graduation
June 7, 2019 2019 Graduation
Aidan Lea's career synopsis
February 17, 2019 Aidan Lea's career synopsis