It was an easy decision for Braden Heppell to join the Trinity Western Spartans men’s volleyball program.
“I have always wanted to go to Trinity Western University ever since I started playing volleyball,” explained Heppell.
“Watching the Spartans games from a young age, I knew I wanted to be a part of their legacy.”
The university’s business program, faith and the fact the Spartans are one of the top volleyball programs in the country, helped make the decision for the Langley Christian Grade 12 student.
“I knew that TWU was the perfect place for me,” Heppell said. “All combined with the fact that it is close to home and that I will be joining my brother on the team, I knew that it was the perfect fit for me.”
Heppell, a six-foot-five outside hitter, will join older brother Tyler on the team.
Tyler is a second-year outside hitter for the Spartans.
And that won’t be the only familiar face in the line-up as two other Langley Christian alum are also on the team: Mike Grypma and Mark Antoniuk.
The trio helped Langley Christian capture the program’s first Double-A title in school history back in 2012.
Heppell was named a first team all-star, and he earned that honour once again in 2013 as the Lightning finished second in the province.
At the club level, Heppell has played with the Fraser Valley Volleyball Club since the U13 level and he earned an all-star at the U16 level as the team won the national title that year.
Another player on that FVVC squad, Ben Lieuwen, has also committed to the Spartans.
Lieuwen, a six-foot-two outside hitter was also a first team all-star helping the MEI Eagles win bronze at the Double-A provincial tournament.
“TWU has been my dream school ever since I first saw the Spartans play,” said Lieuwen.
“It’s a great school with a great culture and I’m excited to be a part of it.”