Now in their third season together, UBC head coach Blake Nill swears by his quarterback Michael O'Connor. (Bob Frid/UBC athletics)
Feature University Football

TSUMURA: On the bond between a coach and his QB, UBC’s Nill & O’Connor survive a Saturday in Saskatoon

As a performance, it was hardly an oil painting. Yet you would be mistaken to think that UBC quarterback Michael O’Connor’s three interceptions on Saturday night in any way sullied the final result of the ‘Birds near-total collapse in the heart of the Canada West playoff chase.

UBC Thunderbirds' fifth-yeast senior Conor Morgan, one of the nation's elite, has been lost for a potentially extended period of time following an elbow injury suffered Thursday in Saskatoon. (UBC athletics photo by Richard Lam)
Feature University Men's Basketball

UBC star Conor Morgan lost to elbow injury, freshman Grant Shephard sees role increase

The UBC Thunderbirds men’s basketball team has added a lot of new faces to its 2017-18 roster, and while they have clearly shown huge promise in the early going, they may well be without their best player for an extended period of time.Head coach Kevin Hanson told Varsity Letters on Friday afternoon that forward Conor Morgan, the […]

UBC striker Jasmin Dhanda (centre) has had plenty to smile about as she chases Canada West's most hallowed personal record. (UBC athletics photo)
Feature University Women's Soccer

UBC’s Jasmin Dhanda: Scoring goals, honouring tradition and coming full circle in blue and gold

VANCOUVER — Jasmin Dhanda never knew, in the moment, what was happening. It was five years ago and she was the impressionable UBC rookie, the one just happy to be soaking up the experience of playing alongside senior Janine Frazao, the program’s all-time scoring leader.

Fraser Valley Cascades' sophomore central defender Simi Lehal (left) has a skill set that matches the pulse of her Canada West team. (Dan Kinvig/UFV Athletics)
Feature University Women's Soccer

Simi Lehal: How UFV’s super sophomore helped the Cascades re-invent their soccer identity

ABBOTSFORD — Soccer DNA may hold no official weight in scientific circles, yet if you’ve watched the play of Fraser Valley Cascades’ central defender and criminology major Simi Lehal the past two seasons, you can’t help but wonder if the beautiful game does indeed have a biology all its own.

UBC's Ben Chow, 25, has reinvented himself both on the court and in the classroom with the Thunderbirds' volleyball team. (Richard Lam/UBC athletics)
Feature University Men's Volleyball

UBC’s Ben Chow: How degrees of difficulty helped the ‘Birds star return for a special finale

VANCOUVER — The best journeys are never scripted and always organic. They test mettle, and in the best instances, wind up revealing a level of poetic gleam only possible through the hard steps of revival and re-invention.

Calgary receiver Michael Klukas (front) battles UBC defensive back Jean Ventose on Friday at Thunderbird Stadium. (UBC athletics photo by Bob Frid)
Feature University Football

Nill labels UBC loss to Dinos “…an ass kicking” as all roads to Vanier now go through Calgary

VANCOUVER— Blake Nill has never pulled punches, and the UBC Thunderbirds head coach wasn’t about to start a new trend Friday.“You can call it what you want but it was an ass-kicking,” Nill said following his team’s 31-17 loss to the Calgary Dinos at Thunderbird Stadium. “When we had momentum, we were stopping the run […]

UBC cornerback Will Maxwell (3) has proven himself to be the quickest of studies. (Bob Frid/UBC athletics)
Feature University Football

Will Maxwell: A year ago, UBC cornerback had never made a tackle… now he leads the team

VANCOUVER — The leading tackler on the best defensive team in the Canada West has a confession to make. “Up until the end of last season, I had never played a down of defence in my life,” says Will Maxwell. “Until last year, I had never even made a tackle.”

UBC head coach Blake Nill, pictured with offensive coordinator Paul Orazietti, says Calgary has set the Canada West's gold standard. (Richard Lam/UBC athletics)
Feature University Football

UBC’s Nill on Friday foes from Calgary: “They are the ones we have to measure ourselves against.”

VANCOUVER — The last time the UBC Thunderbirds won four straight Canada West conference football games was back in 2015 when Blake Nill was the team’s first-year head coach. History tells us, of course, that the ‘Birds parlayed that quartet of regular season-ending games into an eventual seven-game win streak that culminated with a Vanier Cup […]

Simon Fraser's Julia Howley, pictured at the UW's Sundodger Invite, has finished top three in every race this season for the Clan. (Photo courtesy SFU athletics)
Feature University Cross Country

SFU’s Julia Howley: How the Clan’s free spirit found her groove on a true cross-country trek

BURNABY — At various points over the summer of 2015, Julia Howley found herself standing in place that looked like it sat on the top of the world.