Heat hoopsters make home debuts
The hardwood at the UBC Okanagan gym will get its initiation to CIS basketball this weekend.
On Friday night, the Heat men's and women's squad will play their first ever Canada West home games against the University of Regina Cougars.
Then on Saturday, the University of Brandon Bobcats will provide the opposition.
The women's games go at 6 p.m. both nights, the men's at 8.
The Heat women are looking for their first win after a 0-4 start on the road, and know they'll be in tough Friday against the 5-0 Cougars.
“Regina has a very strong team, well balanced, nice inside game and a couple of superior guards," said Heat coach Heather Semeniuk, who is excited for her players and the opportunity to play at home.
“The players are definitely excited. Coming home to play in front of family and friends is really important to the girls.”
Like the women, the UBC Okanagan men (0-4) will be seeking their first ever Canada West victory.
Heat veteran Steve Morrison said while the learning curve so far has been steep, the UBCO men are gaining experience with each minute.
“We’ve learned now that if we can put a full 40 minutes together we can compete, but sometimes there can be teams that just go off on you, but we just have to fight through and stay focused,” said Morrison.
“We’re not a team who’s going to win off of flash and sizzle. We’re going to have to grind out every possession and every ball, and fight to the end.”
After a week off from Canada West action, the UBC Okanagan volleyball squads return to action this weekend in Langley.
On Friday and Saturday nights, the Heat men's and women's teams will take on Trinity Western University.
The TWU women are 4-2, while the Heat women head into weekend action at 2-4.
“It was good to have a weekend off, recharge, let the players catch up on schoolwork,” said Heat head coach Steve Manuel.
“Trinity is a very good team. They’re a very strong team who controls the ball well. We will have to play our style of game, and control the ball well on our side of the court."
The Heat men (3-3), ranked No. 9 in Canada, face the task of taking on the nation's No. 1 ranked team in the Spartans (6-0).
“There’s a reason they are undefeated, there’s a reason why they’re the number one team. They don’t have a lot of gaps, they don’t have a lot of weaknesses,” said Heat coach Greg Poitras.
“We need to serve tough off the baseline and put them into trouble."
The Heat expect defensive specialist Jeremy Fostvelt to return to the lineup this weekend. He missed his team's previous matches against Manitoba with an ankle injury.