KELOWNA, B.C. (from UBCO Heat) — One of a pair of players coming from Red Deer, Alta. to join the UBC Okanagan Heat women’s volleyball program for the 2018-19 season will be Jade Bussard, a 6-foot left-side hitter out of École Secondaire Notre Dame High School.
Bussard, a multi-sport athlete through much of her athletic career, began focusing on volleyball exclusively during her Grade 11 year. That season as purely a volleyball player, she earned the MVP award and was a captain last season for her provincial third-ranked team.
Her accolades with her club team, the Central Alberta Queens Volleyball Club, include a captaincy of the 2018 team, and a provincial all-star award along with a provincial bronze medal in 2017. Also, Team Alberta recruited her in 2017.
“UBC is ranked as one of the best universities in North America,” said Bussard, explaining why she chose UBCO. “I like that it’s a smaller campus but still a great reputation for academics and sport. They have a great volleyball program and are consistently ranked as one of the highest teams in the Canada West League … I really enjoyed meeting the coach and the team when I visited in the summer — I could picture myself at UBCO early on in my recruiting process.”
“We are excited to welcome Jade to our program,” said the Heat coach. “She is a high-flying outside hitter with the athletic ability to be an impact player at the U Sports level. Jade’s determination and drive to succeed will serve her well at UBC Okanagan. We expect great things from her as she joins a group of outstanding young recruits in 2018.”
Jade plans to study “Human kinetics for [my] first degree, then possibly my masters in physical therapy or a second degree in physical education.”
“I’m honoured to be a part of such a great program,” said Brussard in a statement. “I’m super excited to start the next step in my volleyball career with the UBC Okanagan Heat. I feel I’ll be able to make a big impact over the next several years with my positive attitude and compete level.”
Jade will join already profiled Samantha Gagnon as first-year players from Red Deer on next year’s women’s volleyball team. Stephanie Temme and Sarah Demers from the Junior Heat program and Sydney Grills from the Thunder Volleyball Club in Vancouver will all join the Heat roster this September. Their additions come as three big pieces, Erin Drew, Siobhan Fitzpatrick and Michelle Jakszuk, will leave the roster as they are set to graduate.