Caitlin Nyhus is in her 5th and final season for UBC Okanagan in the BCCAA. It was only fitting that this 5’9” setter from Penticton would player her final matches in a Provincial Championships at home. Having just been named the BCCAA Player of the Year for 2010-11, Nyhus lived up to that honour and did not disappoint the home crowd.
Going in to the Championships ranked #1 in the Province, UBCO had a first round bye and waited patiently to see the outcome of the UFV vs Camosun quarter-final match. With UFV advancing, UBCO was poised to dispose of the Cascades in front of their home Crowd. Nyhus and her Heat did not disappoint as they eliminated UFV in 3 straight sets. Nyhus would finish the night with 1 block, 2 aces and 1 dig. She was saving her best for the finals. With VIU advancing to the Finals for their 6th straight appearance (15th in 17 years), they would face the squad from Kelowna for the 5th straight Gold Medal Match between these two powerhouses. With a rich history of these two dynasties battling each other, it was match that any athlete would want to be a part of.
In 2006-07, VIU (known as Malaspina) defeated Okanagan 3-2. In 2007-08, Malaspina once again defeated Okanagan 3-0. However, in 2008-09, UBCO turned the tide in their favour as they finally defeated VIU 3-0 to win their first of three straight Gold Medals. In 2009-10, UBCO defeated VIU again, 3-0 to take home their second Gold. Finally, in UBCOs final BCCAA match (next season they head into the CIS), the Kelowna girls once again took home the Gold defeating VIU 3-2.
With a chance to get the threepeet and at home, the Heat did not let down their hometown fans. Nyhus saved her best for last. She finished the night with 3 kills, 5 blocks, 2 aces and 7 digs. For her efforts, she was named the Heat player of the Match and awarded with the tournament MVP. Nyhus and her Heat are not done yet. After winning 2 straight National Titles, UBCO is poised to go after their 3rd straight National Title.
The Heat now travel to UNB Saint John for their final appearance in a CCAA National Tournament.