Three of the top boys volleyball players in B.C. – including Joel Regehr of Courtenay – will be UBC Thunderbirds next fall.
Along with Regehr, the new T-Birds include Irvan Brar of Surrey and Mathew Guidi of Coquitlam.
”We’ve kept a keen eye on their development and are excited about their eagerness to join our program,” said UBC head coach Richard Schick. “They all know our current players very well, which should make their transition to the CIS level go much more smoothly. All three of these guys play on very good club teams with great coaches and we’re all very excited about them joining our Thunderbird family.”
Regehr is ranked as the No. 5 graduating player in B.C. high school boys volleyball by The Province newspaper. The 6′,7″ middle is currently attending Mark R. Isfeld Secondary in Courtenay. He reached 11 feet, five inches in vertical jump testing with Team BC this past summer.
“Joel’s a guy who’s flown under the radar for a while,” said Schick. “With his size and physical ability, he’s going to be an outstanding CIS player. He’s been really well coached through his early club and high school years by someone who knows and understands the game and is a player who at 6′,7″ has really good overall skills.”
Regehr may not be at UBC yet but he already has ties to the Thunderbirds. His mother, Donna Baydock, is a UBC graduate and a former coach of the women’s volleyball team. She was named the Canada West and CIS Coach of the Year in 1989. Regehr grew up learning the sport from Baydock.
He says his mother’s history with Canada’s most successful athletic program is one of the big reasons he chose to play for the T-Birds.
“The men’s program is attractive to play for because to the calibre of young, talented guys who are on the team right now and that I’ll get to play with over the next couple years,” said Regehr.
“I also enjoy coach Schick’s coaching style and feel like I can become the best I can be with the resources at UBC and the guidance of coach Schick and (assistant) coach Matt LeBourdais.”
Regehr also played with Brar on the B.C. White team at the 2011 Western Elite Championship.
On the club circuit, he played for the Victoria Volleyball Association, led by coach Dave Dooley.
Brar is a 6′,2″ left side player who has been named to the first all-star team at the B.C. High School Provincial Championships two years in a row after leading Fraser Heights Secondary to back-to-back bronze-medal finishes.
Brar was ranked as the No. 3 graduating boys volleyball player in B.C. by The Province.
A skilled all-around player, Brar teamed up with Kris McCrea to win beach volleyball gold at the B.C. Summer Games last summer, two years after the pair were part of a team that won indoor gold.
Guidi is a multi-sport star who is finishing his Grade 12 year at Coquitlam’s Pinetree Secondary. The 6′,3″ left side is described as a competitive player with excellent overall skill.
Guidi was also a member of the BC Blue squad that competed at the 2011 Western Elite Championship in Kelowna.
Regehr, Brar and Guidi will be joining a UBC squad that finished fourth in the Canada West playoffs after a 15-7 regular season in 2012-13. The Thunderbirds will return nearly its entire roster of young, talented players, such as Canadian junior national team members Milan Nikic, Alex Russell and Jarrid Ireland, next year.
– UBC Thunderbirds