SRSS grad Heppner nabs Canada West rookie honours


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Steinbach Regional Secondary School (SRSS) continues to impress when it comes to generating outstanding volleyball players. Not only did the school notch the AAAA boys provincial championship this season, graduate Jordy Heppner was named Canada West men’s rookie of the year.

The middle blocker put together a great season for the University of Manitoba Bisons, racking up over 100 kills this season. The first-year player also showed a veteran acumen, only recording 27 errors as he hit at a 0.336 rate this season.

Heppner said before the season started he had hoped to make the all-rookie team, but receiving rookie of the year honours was a complete surprise.

Jordy Heppner goes up for a service during a match for the Manitoba Bisons this season. The Steinbach Regional Secondary School graduate was named the Canada West men's volleyball rookie of the year. (University of Manitoba)

“I want to give a lot of credit to my coach, (Arnd ‘Lupo’ Ludwig), he improved me a lot through the year,” Heppner said after receiving news he won the award.

“The seniors, the fifth years, helped me a lot on the court… The speed of the game in USports is a lot different than when I played club.”

In addition to getting used to the faster pace of Canadian university volleyball, Heppner said he also grew stronger physically, increasing his jumping height and speed of his arm swing while on the attack.

Coach Ludwig noted in a University of Manitoba news release Heppner has a “bright future,” for the black and gold.

“We are lucky to have him, and I am excited to see what he will accomplish in the future,” Ludwig said.

“This is not the end goal, but rather the start of a promising career. With his talent and determination, I have no doubt he will achieve even greater things in years to come.”

Heppner plays middle blocker, noting that blocking is one of his favourite things to do on the court. He said to excel at the position, lateral agility is key to reach different sides of the court.

“Being up quick (with) a fast arm swing is key for a middle blocker,” Heppner said.

“That’s what Lupo improved me at a lot this year.”

Heppner’s best offensive match came on November 11, when he racked up 10 kills against the University of B.C. Okanagan.

“The game I had 10 kills, I was definitely counting in my head,” he said, laughing, adding he hoped to reach double-digits that game.

Heppner is in the University of Manitoba’s University One program, with plans to join the faculty of kinesiology next year.

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