UBCO Heat  

Aidan Lea earns spot on National Volleyball Team

After just one year playing for the Heat Kelowna product Aidan Lea has been chosen to be a part of Volleyball Canada's Women's National Team. 

KELOWNA, BC - After completion of the largest women's selection camp ever and the first one held at the new home of Canada Women's volleyball in the Richmond Olympic Oval, Aidan Lea current middle for the UBC Okanagan Heat women's volleyball team been selected as one of the 24 athletes that will compete this summer for Team Canada.

The 6'6" middle Aidan, in the Arts program at UBC Okanagan, finished her first season with the Heat after transferring from the University of Colorado last spring.

This is the second straight year the Heat have placed a member of their squad on the national team and the first time that the student athlete will return from competing and training with the national team and compete again for UBCO.

Brianna Beamish made the National Team last summer (2016) after completing her fifth and final season of competition for UBC Okanagan. Beamish will join Lea on the team this summer as Beamish made the team once again after a very successful year playing volleyball in Austria for a VC Tirol, Innsbruck.

Former Kelowna Owl and a product of the Junior Heat Club Program Aidan Lea is the third athlete to hit the elite status at UBC Okanagan to suit up for their country on the highest level, in their sport. Along with Beamish, Lea will join fellow Kelowna Secondary product, Marisa Field, on the national team. Field played volleyball at the Kelowna campus for the Lakers in 2004/05 and 2005/06 - all three have been coached extensively by five-time national coach (2x in CIS / USPORTS and 3x in CCAA) of the year and UBC Okanagan Heat head coach Steve Manuel.

Lea had an outstanding first year with UBC Okanagan leading the Heat back to the Canada West Final Four for the fourth straight time more than capably filling the gap left by Beamish and two Canada West (CW) All-Star middle in Katy Klomps and Katie Wuttunee.  She led Canada West in hitting percentage (.350), the highest hitting percentage in the Heat's history, and the 15th-best percentage in Canada West history. Her efforts in the CW Quarter-finals against Calgary led to the Heat's unbelievable comeback on the road against the Dinos with back-to-back tremendous performances in the second and third games.  Had a career high 19 kills in game two to help force a game three, and once again played exceptionally well as she finished with 16 kills on .393 hitting to help the team advance to the Final Four

Playing in every match this season she finished the year with 183 kills and 74 total blocks, also named a Finalist as the Outstanding Athlete of the Year at UBC Okanagan.

Release from Volleyball Canada: [https://www.volleyball.ca/en/news/national-women-s-team-2017]

National Women’s Team Selection Camp Wraps Up in Richmond

Volleyball Canada is pleased to announce the 2017 Women’s National Team roster.

"With a nice mix of returning veterans and up and coming young athletes - our 2017 National Team is very promising," said Volleyball Canada High Performance Director, Julien Boucher. "Following the largest women’s selection camp ever, our program will undoubtedly see a new beginning in its new training centre in Richmond."

Lea, Beamish and the rest of Team Canada will play and train all summer in Richmond, BC at the Olympic Oval with some feature events over the course of the next few months.

One of the highlights of the season will be FIVB World Grand Prix - one of the premier international tournaments for women’s volleyball. It will take place at the Richmond Oval, in Richmond, BC from July 21 to July 23. The city will host six matches among four teams in Group 2 – Canada, Germany, Peru and Czech Republic. For more details, please see this direct link to purchase tickets: http://wgp2017.brownpapertickets.com

The team will also compete in a Pan Am Cup in Peru this June and the NORCECA Continental Championship (Trinidad) in October. The team will also train/play in Anaheim with the U.S. women’s team from June 12-14

Rosters for specific events will be named at a later date.


Members of Team Canada

Courtney Baker, Bridgewater, NS
Brianna Beamish, Surrey, BC
Marie-Alex Bélanger, Saint-Alphonse-Rodriguez, QC
Danielle Brisebois, Caledon, ON
Margaret Casault, Edmonton, AB
Lucille Charuk, Vancouver, BC
Alissa Coulter, Calgary, AB
Jennifer Cross, Scarborough, ON
Megan Cyr, St. Andrews, MB
Alina Dormann, Ottawa, ON
Anna Feore, Stratford, ON
Marisa Field, Kelowna, BC
Alexa Gray, Calgary, AB
Shae Harris, North Vancouver, BC
Shainah Joseph, Ottawa, ON
Aidan Lea, Kelowna, BC
Kristen Moncks, Standard, AB
Alicia Ogoms, Winnipeg, MB
Alicia Perrin, Creston, BC
Michaela Reesor, Caledon, ON
Kyla Richey, Roberts Creek, BC
Danielle Smith, Kelowna, BC/Beaverlodge, AB
Layne Van Buskirk, Windsor, ON
Elizabeth Wendel, Caronport, SK

Sarah Chase, Campbell River, BC
Nikki Cornwall, Coquitlam, BC
Alison McKay, Port Moody, BC

Head coach: Marcello Abbondanza
Assistant coaches: Vincenzo Mallia, Daniele Alpi and Gina Schmidt
Statistician: Darrin Moreira
Head Athletic Therapist: Morgan Sangster
Team Manager: Chrissy Benz

Click here for program information.


Volleyball Canada media contact:
Jackie Skender
E-mail: [email protected]
Phone: 613.794.7676



Morgan Nichols will stay home and play for the Heat next fall


George Elliot's Morgan Nichols will continue his athletic and academic pursuits in 2017/18 as he signs on to be a setter with the UBC Okanagan men's volleyball team. 

KELOWNA, BC - The Heat men's volleyball program have added Kelowna Volleyball Club (KVC) product Morgan Nichols, a setter graduating from George Elliot Secondary, to their 2017/18 roster.

Nichols, standing 6'2", will bring a breadth of volleyball experience to UBC Okanagan next season. On top of his success with George Elliot, for which he was named an All-Star, he has played three years with the Kelowna Volleyball Club, three years with the Team B.C. program, and was selected to the Youth National Development Program.

Asked about Nichols' joining the Heat program, his future coach Brad Hudson said, "Morgan has tremendous potential. He is a gifted athlete who, in time, will run a fast, balanced offence that will keep our offence guessing. Morgan is also our first local recruit and I am grateful he chose to represent our community here at UBCO."

Morgan himself commented on his being a local recruit, citing it as a major factor in his decision. "It's close to home so I can for one live at home, but also my family can come watch more games than if I left. It also comes with a very good education."

On what exactly that education will include, Morgan is as yet undecided specifically, though he plans to go into the general Arts program.

Not only is Morgan is the first Okanagan player in the Heat's sizable recruiting class he is also the first. The rest of the recruiting class is as follows:

Caleb Funk (6-7 M, Strathmore); Zach Gotmy (5-10 L, Calgary-Western Canada High); Max Heppell (6-4 LS, Langley-Langley Fundamental); Lucas Robertson (6-4 S, Edmonton-Strathcona Composite High, Grand Prairie Regional College); Tristan Simmonds (6-2 LS, Edmonton- Grand Prairie-Grand Prairie Composite High, Grand Prairie Regional College); Shawn Zhao (6-7 M, Richmond-R.A. McMath).

The upcoming season schedule for the Canada West volleyball team will be released on Wednesday, June 21st. Check for details at goheat.ca.

Morgan Nichols

Strathmore's Funk to join Heat


The 6'7" Caleb Funk will add size to the front line of the UBC Okanagan men's volleyball team as a freshman for the 2017/18 season.

KELOWNA, BC - Caleb Funk, a 6'7" middle from Strathmore, Alberta has signed on to be a member of the 2017/18 Heat men's volleyball freshman class.

Funk comes to the Heat after playing three seasons each with the Strathmore High School Spartans and the Canuck Stuff Volleyball Club.

As a Spartan at Strathmore, where he also played hockey and baseball, Caleb was named his volleyball team's Rookie of the Year in 2014/15 and Most Valuable Player in 2016/17. His 2015/16 team were zone champions and went on to finish third at the 3A Provincial Tournament.

In his first season with CSVC in 2014/15, his team were champions in the Best of the West tournament, finished second in the provincial tournament, and were fifth at that year's national tournament. In 2015/16 he finished third in the provincial tournament, and second in Tier Two, Division One at the national tournament. 2016/17 was Funk's last season with CSVC, and he led them to second place in the Best of the West tournament and a gold medal at the provincial tournament.

In 2016 Caleb finished third at the National Team Challenge Cup as a member of Team Alberta, and was selected for the Youth National Development Program.

Asked why he chose to come to UBCO, Caleb says the decision was made with an eye to both athletics and academics. "I chose UBCO because of their developing men's volleyball program and I want to be part of the group of guys that turn Kelowna into one of the top programs in the country. I also chose UBCO because of the high level of academics they offer while still being in a smaller university."

As a student at UBCO, Funk plans to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree while majoring in International Relations, saying, "at this point my goals are just to explore the world of international relations."

As an athlete Caleb feels ready to take the step up to Canada West competition, stating, "I am extremely excited about this upcoming season and seeing what this team can do. I look forward to being a strong presence in the front row, and growing as a volleyball player."

Head coach Brad Hudson of the UBC Okanagan men's volleyball team was full of praise for the incoming freshman. "Caleb is a prototypical Canada West middle blocker. He is big, strong, and has a great motor. He is also a humble, tireless worker who I am certain will maximize his gifts. It's also quite clear he is a terrific teammate and will make every effort to better those around him."

After a strong first season in 2016-17 that saw first year coach Hudson, with an interim tag, set a record for wins in a Canada West season by the UBCO men's volleyball program with nine, has an impressive first recruiting class, and is bringing in seven players to compete for the UBC Okanagan Heat for the upcoming season.

Caleb Funk is one of two middles that have committed to UBCO, Shawn Zhao from Richmond's R.A McMath is the other one. The five others in the fold are: Zach Gotmy (5-10 L, Calgary-Western Canada High); Max Heppell (6-4 LS, Langley-Langley Fundamental); Morgan Nichols (6-2 S, Lake Country-George Elliot); Lucas Robertson (6-4 S, Edmonton-Strathcona Composite High, Grand Prairie Regional College); Tristan Simmonds (6-2 LS, Edmonton- Grand Prairie-Grand Prairie Composite High, Grand Prairie Regional College).

The upcoming season schedule for the Canada West volleyball team will be released on Wednesday, June 21st. Check for details at goheat.ca.

Caleb Funk (1)


Great night at the city of Kelowna Civic Awards, Heat women's volleyball come up just short


The UBC Okanagan women's volleyball team's national medal winning squad was up for City of Kelowna's award as top team for 2016.

KELOWNA, BC - At the Kelowna Civic Awards on Wednesday night the Heat women's volleyball team, the 2015-16 version, earned a Finalist distinction as a Bryan Couling Memorial Team of the Year award. During the ceremony at the Kelowna Community Theatre all Finalists were announced with a video regaling the team and their accomplishments.

The annual honour is awarded to the Kelowna based team (amateur or professional) who brought the greatest amount of recognition to Kelowna in 2016. The winner was the Kelowna Senior Secondary Owls, Senior Boys Basketball Team that won the Provincial Championship. The Kelowna Mission Junior Bantam Lions Football Team was the other finalist.

A UBC Okanagan Heat team is nominated as a a finalists for the Couling award, after having a finalist for seven straight years from 2008-2014, with UBC Okanagan winning three to date.

  • 2008 - UBC Okanagan men's volleyball team | Winner
  • 2009 - UBC Okanagan Heat women's volleyball team | Winner
  • 2010 - UBC Okanagan Heat women's volleyball team | Winner 
  • 2011 - UBC Okanagan men's volleyball team | Finalist
  • 2012 - UBC Okanagan women's golf team | Finalist
  • 2013 - UBC Okanagan women's cross country team | Finalist
  • 2014 - UBC Okanagan Heat women's volleyball team | Finalist
  • 2016 - UBC Okanagan Heat women's volleyball team | Finalist

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