Seaside's own Maryanne Donen (Branson), was recently inducted along with her UBC Thunderbird teammates into the Volleyball BC Sports Hall of Fame class of 2023.
1977/78 UBC Women’s Volleyball Team
The 77/78 UBC Women’s team will go down as one of the greatest teams in BC volleyball history. They played in one of the most competitive era’s of women’s volleyball and the first women’s team to win the CIAU and National Senior Championship. The team was put together in 1975, led by coach, Diane Murray, assistant coach, George Neufeld and manager, Amanjit Dhillon.
Leading up to their historic 1978 season, the team was the defending CIAU champions, capturing the title after defeating Western Ontario Mustangs in the final. The team knew it had something special when they played the National Women’s team in an exhibition and beat them. UBC went undefeated throughout their university season and capped it off with another CIAU championship. The team continued their success by winning the BC Volleyball Association Senior AA Championship. This all led to the National Championships in 1978, capturing gold at the Canadian Volleyball Association Senior Championship. They became the first university women’s team to win a senior championship.
The team was recognized for their accomplishments by being nominated for Sport BC Team of the Year in 1978, awarded a civic award by the City of Vancouver and inducted into the UBC Sports Hall of Fame in 1998.