As he weighed his university options, Abbotsford volleyball star Kristof Schlagintweit knew he wanted to major in engineering.
It’s not entirely surprising, then, that the chance to build something on the volleyball court also appealed to him.
That mentality led Schlagintweit, who is wrapping up his Grade 12 year at Yale Secondary, to sign with the UBC-Okanagan Heat earlier this spring. The Kelowna-based program just completed its inaugural Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) season, and the Abbotsford native is looking forward to helping the team continue to establish itself in the nation’s top post-secondary league.
“It’s sweet to be able to build something,” Schlagintweit explained. “All the guys up there (at UBC-O) are so nice, and they’re working so hard to get to the top of the league. They have nothing to lose, so it’s pretty exciting to be going to a team like that.”
The versatile 6’4″ athlete also drew interest from UBC and Queen’s University, but both of those schools already boasted solid veteran depth at the setter spot, which is Schlagintweit’s primary position.
UBC-O, meanwhile, was waving goodbye to graduating setter Preston Tucker, which gives Schlagintweit an opportunity to compete for playing time as a freshman.
“Hopefully I can make an impact as soon as I get there and fight for a starting spot,” he said. “Kelowna is also in a nice place. I play a lot of beach volleyball, and it’s a good place for that.”
Schlagintweit teamed up with MEI’s Jeremy Lieuwen to win bronze at U18 beach volleyball nationals last summer. During the indoor season, he captained the Yale Lions, and was an all-star at U18 club provincials as his Fraser Valley Volleyball Club squad won gold.
Schlagintweit is also an excellent student – he’s the valedictorian at Yale after maintaining an academic average in the neighbourhood of 95 per cent.
He’s the third member of the Schlagintweit clan to earn a university volleyball scholarship, following in the footsteps of older sisters Sofie (NCAA’s Arizona State Sun Devils) and Rosie (UBC Thunderbirds).