The University of British Columbia

PREVIEW: On the road again for UBCO, travel to Vancouver to play T-Birds

PREVIEW: On the road again for UBCO, travel to Vancouver to play T-Birds

What you need to know


  • The road trip will continue for the Heat women this weekend when they travel to Vancouver to face the UBC Thunderbirds for a two-game set.
  • Coming off two straight defeats to the Manitoba Bisons, the Heat are looking to snap a six-game losing skid that dates back to late November.
  • UBC is 9-7 on the season and feature one of the best duos in the country in Kiera Van Ryk and Olivia Furlan.

GAME TIMES (PT)

FRIDAY, JAN 18th 

Volleyball (W) / Canada West Conference Match
6 PM PST |
UBC Okanagan Heat (2-14) at the UBC Thunderbirds (9-7) | Webcast | Live Stats | Tickets
War Memorial Gymnasium, University of British Columbia Point Grey campus

SATURDAY, JAN 19th 

Volleyball (W) / Canada West Conference Match
5 PM PST |
UBC Okanagan Heat at the UBC Thunderbirds | Webcast | Live Stats |  Tickets
War Memorial Gymnasium, University of British Columbia Point Grey campus


Nearing playoff elimination:

  • With eight games left in their Canada West season the Heat sit six games back of the TRU WolfPack for the final playoff spot as the team looks to avoid missing the playoffs for the first time since 2011-12.
  • The young team is looking to capture their first conference win since Nov. 24th against Brandon. 

Impact players:

  • Rookie outside hitters Sydney Grills and Jade Bussard continue to impress in their first season with the team, Grills sits second on the team in kills (154) and Bussard is right there in fourth (96).
  • The veteran presence of Ann Richards has been much needed on this new look team as the outside hitter has 174 kills and is on pace to surpass her total from last year (245). 

Head to head with UBC: (3-11 in regular season, 2-4 in postseason)

  • These two teams are very familiar with each other as they met four times last season including in a semi-final best-of-three series in the Canada West playoffs.
  • The 'Birds capture the best-of-three series in two games to eliminate UBCO from the playoffs. 

Scouting the Thunderbirds 

Season synopsis:

  • It was a tough start to the year for UBC as they lost five of their first seven conference games but have been 7-2 since the middle of November.
  • Offence has not been an issue for the 'Birds as they lead to Canada West in kills (842) and kills per set (13.58) but they sit 11th in total blocks (113). 

MVP candidate on the outside:

  • The T-birds feature one of the best players in the entire country in outside hitter Kiera Van Ryk who currently leads the Canada West in kills (286), kills per set (4.61) and service aces (48).
  • A member of the senior national team, Van Ryk has had at least 15 kills in her last 10 games and has four games with at least six service aces, the most in the conference.

Furlan connection:

  • There will be one Furlan on each side of the net this weekend as the Heat's Sophia will take on her younger sister Olivia for the second consecutive season. The younger sister is arguably the most versatile player in the country, as setter/outside hitter currently sits second in the conference in assists per set (9.56) and service aces (43) while also having 144 digs and 69 kills.
2019 Graduation
June 7, 2019 2019 Graduation
Aidan Lea's career synopsis
February 17, 2019 Aidan Lea's career synopsis