Nate Speijer racked up 28 kills for the University of British Columbia-Okanagan Heat in the opening game of Canada West action.
It was a performance during his Canadian Interuniversity Sport debut that showed he was a player to watch. Speijer didn’t take a step back as he became a Canada West All Star.
In his fourth season with the Heat, Speijer was an offensive machine with his name scattered at the top of the offensive leader board. Heat coach Greg Poitras was pleased with his veteran hitter’s ability to take his game to the next level as the team jumped to a more difficult league.
“Nate had a great year. He really never skipped a beat with the big jump to CIS and all the teams and coaches keying on him,” said Poitras. “It was great to see him rise to the occasion. There is no doubt Nate is already preparing himself to be an even more complete player next year for the Heat. I am sure next year’s Canada West playoffs are already on his mind.”
Speijer was fourth in points with 4.55 per game, third in kills per set at 3.98, sixth in service aces with 19 and he was also 19th in hitting percentage at .255.
Speijer said his selection is pretty amazing. However, he noted the Heat didn’t do as well as he had hoped.
“No one likes to lose,” said Speijer, whose 28 kills came against Winnipeg. “I put in a lot of hard work and it was nice to get some recognition. I’m looking forward to next year.
“I was a little bit surprised to get all star, the team didn’t do great,” he added.
Speijer loved his first season in CIS playing with the “big boys” as they like to call it.
“Every weekend was a good game,” said Speijer, whose team lost against Manitoba in the first round. “In college, we would have to wait for a team to challenge. Every team in CIS was very good. We had to be on top of our game all the time.”
Speijer’s consistent ability to score is what made the Heat a dangerous new member in Canada West. The Heat finished with eight regular season wins. The season highlight for him was beating Saskatchewan in their own gym, twice. It was a must-win situation to qualify for the playoffs. In the fifth set, the Heat trailed 14-11 and Speijer made a season and league-high five aces in the match. The final one closed out the game at 18-16.