Helen Lacava (left) and Abi Dueck (right) are two new long-distance recruits ready to impress for the UBC Okanagan Heat volleyball team. (UBC Okanagan athletics)

Long-distance volleyball recruits ready to lead UBC Okanagan Heat

Hellen Lacava and Abi Dueck bring experience and talent to a deep Heat roster

School is back and the UBC Okanagan Heat women’s volleyball team will soon be back on the court with two talented and experienced long-distance stars.

Hellen Lacava and Abi Dueck round out the Heat’s 2019 roster. The two talents add height, depth and leadership to UBC Okanagan and have been impressing the coaching staff ahead of the season-opener in October.

“Both of these incoming recruits have a chance to make a noticeable impact on the court and on our roster this year, and in the future,” said head coach Steve Manuel.

Lacava, originally from Brazil, spent last season at Salt Lake Community College, leading her team to a 26-4 record.

The six-foot-one hitter brings international experience and has won multiple provincial and national championships. UBC Okanagan was a highly-desired place for her to play.

“I am extremely excited to be a member of the Heat,” Lacava said.

“Before I started my studies abroad, UBCO was the school I was always aiming for. I cannot wait to live in a different place, to know a new culture and to work with the amazing team and coaches I have met.”

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Coming from Vincent Massey Collegiate in Winnipeg and playing for the Junior Bisons, Dueck led her team to provincial gold and Western Canada gold in both 2017 and 2018. The five-foot-eleven setter will slot in well to the Heat’s winning history.

“It has been my dream to play at a university level and I am so lucky to do so at UBCO,” said Dueck.

“Being part of the team will be an amazing opportunity as I will be surrounded by incredible athletes and coaches, and I look forward to the work ahead,” said Dueck.

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Coach Manuel said that both new players will bring an exciting an essential element to the Heat program.

The Heat start their season Oct. 18 and will have their home-opener Oct. 25.

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