UBC Thunderbird Michael Dowhaniuk makes a play at the net against the University of Winnipeg during Canada West action at UBC in February. (Rich Lam/UBC Athletics Photo)

White Rock volleyball player to hit court with Canada’s U21 team

Semiahmoo Secondary grad Michael Dowhaniuk part of junior national team currently in Peru

Michael Dowhaniuk’s volleyball season just keeps getting better.

Earlier this week, the UBC rookie – a Semiahmoo Secondary alum who led the Totems to back-to-back provincial triple-A titles in 2017 and ’18 – was named by Volleyball Canada to its under-21 men’s roster for the upcoming NORCECA Pan Am Cup.

The team left May 1 for the tournament, which is began Thursday and runs until May 12 in Lima, Peru.

Twelve players were selected for the trip from an original pool of 19, who had recently been training at Volleyball Canada’s National Team Training Centre in Gatineau, Que.

The Team Canada appointment is the latest honour for the six-foot-four outside hitter, who, back in March, was honoured by U Sports’ Canada West Conference for his rookie season with the UBC Thunderbirds. Called a “first-year sensation” in a news release posted on the UBC Athletics website at the time, the Semiahmoo grad led the T-Birds’ men’s volleyball team with 220 kills, and his mark of 3.19 kills-per-set was the 12th most in the entire conference.

This week’s tournament in Peru isn’t the first time Dowhaniuk has hit the court with Canada’s U21 team, either. Last September, he was the captain of the junior national men’s team that won bronze at the U21 Continental Championship in Havana, Cuba.

At the Pan Am Cup, Canada will be joined by Peru, Colombia and Chile in Group B, while the United States, Cuba, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic make up Group A.

“After an abbreviated selection process, we are excited for the chance to represent Canada at this tournament. The group is eager to wear the Maple Leaf and compete against some very good teams,” said assistant coach Adam Simac.

Canada will be looking to qualify for the 2019 U21 FIVB World Championships at the Peru-hosted event.


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