Completing the Heat men’s class of setters going into the 2014-15 season is Richmond’s Ethan Freund, who has committed to UBC Okanagan for its fourth tour in Canada West volleyball.
Freund is natively an outside hitter, but his versatile skill set and 6-foot-3 frame are ideal for the setter position, a spot on the floor that he has always aspired to.
“When the opportunity arose, I tried it and it was a great fit,” Freund reflected on the switch. “My favorite part of setting is running the team’s offense and being able to look at the game tactically.”
Freund helped guide his high school team at Steveston-London to their first ever senior boys’ volleyball provincials berth where they would finish fourth. For his efforts he was named a First-Team All-Star and has called it his favorite accomplishment yet.
Freund’s coach and Director of Athletics at Steveston-London, Edmond Ma, has full confidence in the former’s ability to translate his success as a student-athlete at the high school level into post-secondary.
“He already possesses the skills and maturity to compete at the CIS level,” said Ma. “As a team captain, he is very self-aware of the limits of his teammates and is able to command the best from each and every one of them. He is an extremely coachable athlete with limitless potential.”
Ranked 10th in the Province’s top BC Volleyball players, the report on Ethan was that he had ‘solid size for a setter’ and was ‘noted for having very solid technical skills and good hands.’
Freund has also been a multiple-time member of Team BC and recently won the Kelowna, Langley and Nanaimo 18u Super Series championship with his club team the Focus Blur.
Greg Poitras is excited about Freund’s addition to the squad, and especially the class of setters.
“Although he is fairly new to the position he has learned a great deal about what it takes to be a post-secondary setter,” said Poitras. “He has good volleyball IQ and because he has played on the provincial team and a top club team coached by some of the province’s best coaches he has really adapted well to switching from a hitter to a setter.”
Freund will be entering a Bachelor of Sciences program and hopes to translate his honor-roll success from high school into academic success at UBC.
“UBC offers an excellent opportunity for me to pursue athletics and academics at a high level,” he said of his new school. “I’m excited about joining the Heat, and playing volleyball in Kelowna, which has such a strong and supportive volleyball community. This is a team with a lot of potential, and a great coaching staff. I’m thrilled to be a part of it.”
Freund has a twin brother, Gabriel, and the two will part ways this fall as Gabriel will play volleyball on the Island at Camosun College in Victoria. Ethan will join a new band of brothers in his future Heat teammates as he joins Adam Kern and fellow setter Nick Schmidt as the team’s latest recruits for men’s volleyball.