Katie Wuttunee, a veteran of UBC Okanagan's women's volleyball team, is planning to turn up the heat tomorrow at the national university championships held in Brandon, Manitoba.

The UBC Okanagan Heat, in its fifth year in the Canadian Inter-University Sport League (CIS), posted a remarkable 32-3 record this season, finishing second regionally in a close match against reigning national champions Trinity Western University last week.

Wuttunee, who plays middle blocker, has been with the team from the beginning.

"You spend your first four or three years focusing on yourself and being hard on yourself and getting better and it's stressful and you're almost never satisfied," she said.

"But once you're in your fifth year, you kind of just realize, okay this is the last go. It's OK to relax and have fun and enjoy it."

It's been five years of sacrifices for Wuttunee, but she says she wouldn't trade the experience for anything.

"It might be nice to have a weekend off and do things that other students get to do, but I am obviously going to miss it," she said.

"I can't imagine not playing in this gym."

Strong B.C. teams

UBC Okanagan Trinity Western volleyball

Reigning national champions Trinity Western University from Langley, B.C. are favourites to win again this year. (Submitted by Carly Mellon)

B.C. has a strong showing this year, with three of the top five seeds in this national championships hailing from Canada's west-most province.

Defending champions Trinity Western University from Langley are seeded first, UBC Okanagan is third, and UBC is seeded fifth.

UBC Okanagan and Trinity Western are on opposite side of the draw, making a re-match possible if both teams win all their matches leading up to the championship final scheduled for Sunday night. 

The Heat start their tournament facing sixth seed Dalhousie University in the quarterfinals on Friday. 


To listen to the full interview, click the link labelled: Katie Wuttunee from UBC Okanagan's women's volleyball team reflects on her final year.

With files from Wanyee Li