Former Vernon Christian School Royals volleyball standout Ben Molitwenik is taking his talent and game down Highway 97 south to the UBC Okanagan Heat. Molitwenik helped lead the Royals to back-to-back B.C. High School Boys A Division championships and was named outstanding player in both provincial tournaments. (UBCO Heat photo)

Former Vernon Christian School Royals volleyball standout Ben Molitwenik is taking his talent and game down Highway 97 south to the UBC Okanagan Heat. Molitwenik helped lead the Royals to back-to-back B.C. High School Boys A Division championships and was named outstanding player in both provincial tournaments. (UBCO Heat photo)

Vernon volleyball standout signs with Heat

Ben Molitwenik helped Vernon Christian School Royals win back-to-back B.C. titles

In Vernon’s Ben Molitwenik, UBC Okanagan Heat men’s volleyball coach Brad Hudson is getting a kid who played on his school’s senior team for five years, a two-time provincial champion and tournament outstanding player, an honour roll academic, and a leader.

He’s also getting the player ranked No. 8 in the annual poll of B.C.’s top Grade 12 volleyball players. From a single A program.

Molitwenik is one of five players in Hudson’s recruiting class for 2020-21.

“Ben has all the attributes to be a very good outside hitter in our league,” said Hudson. “His serve reception is Canada West ready and he has a great arm. Plus, he’s been a leader throughout his high-school and club experiences.”

A volleyball protégé, Molitwenik played on the Vernon Christian School Royals senior volleyball team every year, from Grade 8 through 12. Molitwenik’s impact can’t be understated with his Vernon Christian School’s athletics program and his name will go down in school history.

The 6-foot-4 outside hitter led his Royals teams to back-to-back B.C. High School Senior Boys A Volleyball championships in 2018 and 2019, and he was named the tournament’s most outstanding player both years. The championship in 2018 was the first provincial title in any sport, ever, for the Vernon school. He also suited up for the Royals’ basketball team in Grades 11 and 12 as well.

Not only did he star as an athlete at VCS, Molitwenik also excelled academically landing himself on the honour roll in both his Grade 11 and 12 years. Moving forward at UBCO, the strong student will enroll in the human kinetics program with sports therapy his plan for his future.

On the volleyball club circuit, Molitwenik played from Grades 8 through 12 with Vernon’s SKY Volleyball Club.

“I chose UBCO because of the high level of academics offered while still being able to stay close to home,” said Molitwenik, whose Royals team was also named the 2020 Tim Hortons North Okanagan Team of the Year. “I also chose UBCO because of the great volleyball program and the community on campus. I’m excited to play for a team that not only strives for athletic excellence, but also values good character and personal development.”

Molitwenik will join Kelowna’s Okanagan Mission Secondary’s Kevin Jacklin as two Okanagan-trained athletes straight out of high school to join Hudson’s squad for 2020-21. In addition to those two outstanding locals, Hudson has added a hometown collegiate transfer, Jackson Obst, from the University of the Fraser Valley.

Keatan Mann is another transfer, from Douglas College, and a setter from Burnaby Secondary, Cade Hudson, round out this year’s incoming class.

“I really like the volleyball IQ and the high character of this class,” said Hudson. “They will make a positive impact on our team and fit in nicely to our amazing team culture. They are hardworking, passionate about the sport, dedicated students and winners. We are excited to share in their collegiate experience and can’t wait to get them on campus.”

READ MORE: PHOTOS: Vernon Christian School Royals sweep through Valley finals

READ MORE: Vernon Christian School Royals repeat as B.C. champs



roger@vernonmorningstar.com

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