Big win for Heat women
Wins have been few and far between, but the UBC Okanagan women are proving time and again they're capable of playing with the country's best teams.
On Saturday night in Kelowna, the Heat ended an eight-game losing streak in Canada West volleyball with an impressive four set win (16-25, 25-21, 25-16, 25-18) over the University of Alberta Pandas, the No. 3 ranked squad in Canada.
From the second set on, the Heat shut down the Pandas and put down some unstoppable kills and played inspired defense.
Myrte Schön smacked a team high total of 10 kills, and orchestrated an eight-point scoring run on her serve in the fourth set to help her team steal the win from the Pandas.
“We haven’t been able to maintain a high level for very long periods of time," said Heat head coach Steve Manuel. "Myrte went back there and hit serve after serve and we just didn’t let them off the hook.”
Fellow outside hitter Alex Basso had nine kills and grabbed 22 digs, freshman middle Katy Klomps added another nine kills and three service aces. Starting setter Chandler Proch had a team high total of 29 assists with five kills and a 40 per cent attack rate, a strong showing for the second-year setter after making a rapid comeback from a back injury that kept her out of the matches last weekend.
“I think that we have shown that we can play and that we are good enough that we can beat anybody on any given night. We let a few slip away that maybe we could have won and I think that the team just said ‘that’s enough’," Manuel added.
On Friday, the Heat won the opening set over the Pandas, before going down to defeat 3-1 (20-25, 25-22, 25-19, 25-19).
Klomps led the Heat with 10 kills on the, knocking them in at 42.9 per cent efficiency. Outside hitters Basso and Schön were close behind with nine kills each. Basso and libero Kailin Jones each contributed 13 digs.
The Heat, now 3-11, will host the Regina Cougars Friday at 6 p.m.
The UBC Okanagan men gave the Alberta Golden Bears everything they could handle Friday before going down to defeat in three tight sets, with each one being decided by just two points (27-25, 26-24, 38-36).
"Definitely one of our most exciting games of the year," said freshman setterJon Russo. "We were without (Nate Speijer) for the night, but put in a good showing against a top team."
Speijer, the fourth-year outside hitter was sidelined for Friday's match with an injury he sustained the previous weekend."
Riley McFarland led the Heat with 12 kills, while Greg Niemantsverdriet and Mark Broome added 8 kills. Jeremy Fostvelt and Preston Tucker each put up 10 digs.
Jay Olmstead notched the most kills for the Golden Bears with 15, while Taylor Hunt and Mitch Irvine were not far behind with 14 and 13 respectively.
On Saturday, Riley McFarland's 22-kill performance wasn't enough as the Golden Bear completed the weekend sweep with a four-set verdict (23-25, 25-22, 25-19, 25-20) over the Heat.
"Over two days Riley has really held his own on the right side," said Heat coach Greg Poitras. "Even when the other team knew where the ball was going he was still able to score."
Greg Niemantsverdriet registered 10 kills, while team captain and setter Preston Tucker was solid on the front and back lines with 34 assists and 7 digs. Russo had a strong defensive game, grabbing eight digs alongside teammate Jeremy Fostvelt who also recorded eight digs.
The Heat are 3-11 but still not of the Canada West playoff picture.
UBC Okanagan returns to action Friday at 8 p.m. when the men host the Regina Cougars.
A weekend road trip to the Prairies didn't bear any fruit for UBC Okanagan's basketball teams.
Both the Heat men and women came up short in Canada West action in Saskatoon and Edmonton.
In men's action Friday, the No. 5 University of Saskatchewan Huskies dropped the undermanned Heat 96-67.
The Heat was without starters Steve Morrison and Bret Macdonald due to the flu, and dressed only nine players for the game.
Reigning Canada West MVP Jamelle Barrett led the Huskies on offence, scoring a game-high 25 points, hitting 11-of-16 field goals
Guard Yassine Ghomari was the best on the night for the Heat, netting 20 points and six rebounds, while third year Iain Con added another 10 points for the Heat who started slowly and simply couldn't recover.
“We were heavily outrebounded in the first half (24-11),” said assistant coach Matt Heyworth, adding that the Heat “gave up too many second chance points."
On Saturday, UBCO was unable to contain Canada West all-star Jordan Baker, who netted a game high 22 points, as the University of Alberta Golden Bears rolled to an 87-54 win over the Heat.
Ghomari, who sits at 0.1 point per game less than Baker , led the UBC Okanagan squad in points with 18 points, 16 coming in the first half. Point guard Bret Macdonald came off the bench to chip in with 11 points.
“Bret really gave us a spark,” said Heat head coach Darren Semeniuk. “As soon as he felt good enough to play there was no way I was going to keep him out of the lineup. He is a warrior.”
The Heat (2-10) will travel to Vancouver this weekend for games against the UBC Thunderbirds, Friday and Saturday at War Memorial Gymnasium.
Meanwhile, the Saskatchewan Huskies used their size advantage to control the boards as they coasted to a 92-55 victory over the UBC Okanagan Heat in Canada West women's play Friday night.
The Heat were outrebounded 40-22, and struggled offenisviely shooting only 36 per cent.
The post games of Roslyn Huber and Krystal Schouten led UBCO with 13 and 12 points respectively.
University of Saskatchewan freshman Dalyce Emmerson tallied her sixth double-double of the season as the post from Prince Albert tallied a game-high 17 points and 11 rebounds.
On Saturday in Edmonton, the University of Alberta routed the Heat 84-40 as the No. 5 ranked held an opponent to 40 points or less for the fourth time this season.
Third-year point guard Ashley Briker was at the top of the Heat scoring chart, putting away 15 points, including half of UBC Okanagan’s three-pointers with two.
Veteran guard Nicole Clarke pumped 20 points to lead the Pandas.
The Heat women fall to 2-10 in their inaugural CIS season. They return to action when they travel to Vancouver this weekend to play the UBC Thunderbirds in a doubleheader at War Memorial Gymnasium.