The University of British Columbia

PREVIEW: Heat close out volleyball season at home hosting TRU for Presidents' Cup

PREVIEW: Heat close out volleyball season at home hosting TRU for Presidents' Cup

What you need to know

  • In their final action of the season, the Heat women will host their interior rivals in the Thompson Rivers University WolfPack for a two-game set that will decide the Presidents' Cup.
  • Saturday night's match will feature as senior night, as the Heat honour Sophia Furlan, Aidan Lea and Ann Richards for their accomplishments with the program.
  • TRU still has everything to play for as they come in at 11-11 and can clinch a playoff spot with one win this weekend.



Volleyball (W) / Canada West Conference Match 
6 PM PST |
UBC Okanagan Heat (2-20) vs the Thompson Rivers WolfPack (11-11) | Webcast | Live Stats | Tickets
UBC Okanagan Gymnasium 
Beer Gardens are open from 5:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.


Volleyball (W) / Canada West Conference Match / Celebration of the Senior players in last home game
5 PM PST |
UBC Okanagan Heat vs the Thompson Rivers WolfPack | Webcast | Live Stats | Tickets
UBC Okanagan Gymnasium
Beer Gardens are open from 5:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.

Senior Spotlight:

Sophia Furlan:

  • The libero from Calgary, AB has a long list of accomplishments both on the court and in the classroom in her time with the program, including being a part of the Bronze medal winning team at the National Championship in 2015-16.
  • A high school graduate of Sir Winston Churchill Secondary, Furlan will graduate from UBC Okanagan this spring with her degree in Human Kinetics.
  • She has racked up 520 digs in her time with UBCO, including a career-high 226 last season.
  • As a libero, Furlan had a career best 23 digs in a single match in November of 2016 when the Heat played Mount Royal.
  • In her rookie season she was a finalist for the UBC Okanagan Female Rookie of the Year.
  • A penchant for winning, Furlan has played in four Canada West Final Fours, has been to a pair of U SPORTS National Championships, and won 90 conference regular or post season matches as a member of UBCO. 
  • She will graduate this spring with a degree in Human Kinetics and a minior in psychology
  • A model student-athlete, she is on her way to a fifth consecutive U SPORTS Academic All-Canadian award and fifth straight Heat Scholar-Athlete award as well.
  • Further academic highlights including being a finalist for the Provost Award for Excellence, along with being selected to represent the School of Health and Exercise Sciences last may at the Canadian Association of Health Sciences Dean Conference.
  • Respected by all her peers, the libero has been the head of the Heat Athletic Council for the past two years and was also an applicant for the prestigious Rhodes Scholarship.

Aidan Lea:

  • Since joining the Heat in 2016-17, after a year at the University of Colorado, Lea has done nothing but succeed playing for her hometown team as a former graduate of Kelowna Secondary and the Junior Heat Club volleyball program.
  • She has been a finalist for the UBC Okanagan Female Athlete of the Year in back-to-back seasons and was named a Second Team U SPORTS All-Canadian last season. This All-Canadian honour is just the third in school history.
  • In 2016-17 she set a school record for hitting percentage in a season at .350 and has also been one of the top blockers in recent memory with at least 70 blocks in all three of her seasons with the team.
  • She currently owns a .304 career hitting percentage in her time with the Heat which will set a new school-record and sits top-15 all time in Canada West history. 
  • In a must-win playoff scenario in Calgary in 2017, Lea had her best match, an all-timer, for the Heat when she scored 28.5 points a top-4 mark in conference history. Finishing with 19 kills on an efficient .457 hitting percentage, as well as a game-high 10 total blocks, and three aces to keep the Heat's season alive and propelling them to a Final Four.
  • Aidan is in rare air as a student-athlete at UBCO, she is one of the few competing at the national level while competing for her university. Both in the summer of 2017 and 2018, Lea has been on the Senior Women's National Team in volleyball for Team Canada, in 2017 she competed for the Maple Leaf at the 2017 Summer Universiade in Taipei.
  • This spring Lea will graduate with her Bachelor of Arts, she was also a starter on the 2017-18 team that competed at the U SPORTS national championship in Quebec City.

Ann Richards:

  • A transfer from the University of Central Florida, Richards has been the starting outside hitter since she stepped foot on campus in the fall of 2017 for the Heat. In her first year, Richards was a starter and a key offensive cog that competed at the U SPORTS national championship in Quebec City last March.
  • Hailing from Assinboine, Sask., Richards was a finalist for the UBC Okanagan Female Athlete of the Year last season following 226 kills and 191 digs in Canada West play.
  • So far this season it has been much of the same for the product of Assinboine High School, as she has 215 kills so far this season.
  • Earlier this season she set a new career-high with 22 kills in a match against the Saskatchewan Huskies in her home province. 
  • Richards is the rare athlete at UBC Okanagan who enjoys the Arts as much as the competition, she will graduate with her degree from UBC's Okanagan campus in Fine Arts.

Tough weekend against the Pandas:

  • Last weekend on the road the Heat fell in straight sets both nights to the No. 7 ranked Alberta Pandas although he made a lineup change the second night, starting Sarah Demers at setter and moving Natalie Livingston to the outside. 

Presidents' Cup:

  • Volleyball marks the final portion of the UBCO vs TRU university competition across Canada West sports and the 'Pack hold the advantage going into the final leg up 3-1. The Heat can win back the Cup if they can sweep the 'Pack this weekend.
  • For full history on the competition and for the scoring matrix you can click here. 

Head to head with the WolfPack: (12-2)

  • It has been all UBCO in this rivalry as the Heat have lost just twice since 2011/12 to the 'Pack.
  • Last year the Heat won both matches with relative ease, dropping just one set in the two matches in a home-and-home series. 

Scouting Thompson Rivers 

One win to clinch a playoff spot:

  • The WolfPack come into the final weekend of regular season play with an 11-11 record and are winners of three of their last four matches.
  • Currently, in a three-way tie for sixth place in the standings, the 'Pack can clinch a spot in the postseason with one victory this weekend.
  • A much different team at home compared to on the road, TRU is just 2-8 outside of Kamloops but boast an impressive 9-3 record on their home floor. 

Impact players:

  • Outside hitter Olga Savenchuk sits in the top five in the Canada West in total kills (313), kills per set (3.86) and total points (364). She has reached double-figures in terms of kills in all but four conference matches so far this season, including a season-high 25 kills in just four sets at the start of January.
  • Kendra Finch has also done plenty of damage on the outside for the 'Pack as she is one of just two players in the Canada West with 200+ kills and 250+ digs. The product of Vancouver has been particularly hot since the Christmas break, as she has finished in double-figures in kills in all but one game.
  • The WolfPack will have no players graduating this year, as the will return the entire roster for next year.
2019 Graduation
June 7, 2019 2019 Graduation
Aidan Lea's career synopsis
February 17, 2019 Aidan Lea's career synopsis