Heat women off to 3-1 start

UBCO freshman and Kelowna native Kaitlynn Given (left) played in front of her hometown fans over the weekend as the Heat hosted Saskatchewan in Canada West volleyball. - Dale Abbey
UBCO freshman and Kelowna native Kaitlynn Given (left) played in front of her hometown fans over the weekend as the Heat hosted Saskatchewan in Canada West volleyball.
— image credit: Dale Abbey

The UBC Okanagan Heat settled for a split with the University of Saskatchewan Huskies on the second weekend of the Canada West women's volleyball season.

On Friday, Steve Manuel's Heat pushed their record to 3-0 with a convincing four-set win (25-13, 24-26, 25-6, 25-19) over the Huskies.

Rookie Emily Oxland played the entire game for the Heat as setter, dishing out 38 assists in the four-set win. Although technically not a rookie, Katie Wuttunee played a solid game at middle with four block assists and had five kills for the Heat. Wuttunee is new to the Heat but played last year at Capilano University and is in her second year of eligibility.

Fourth-year middle Kendra Wayling had 10 kills and 16 digs, while Myrte Schön also had a big game with 13 kills and 11 digs.

On Saturday, the Heat were unable to match their level of play from the previous night as Saskatchewan returned the favour, winning 3-1 (25-22, 18-25, 25-22, 25-19.)

“We just didn’t execute (Saturday),” explained Heat head coach Steve Manuel. “We served them too easy and we made too many errors.”

The Heat finished the match with 43 errors.

On the upside, Katy Klomps continued her dominating play, as the middle from Surrey finished the game with nine kills, two solo blocks and two block assists. Schön tallied 10 kills, and rookie Kaitlynn Given added six kills and four digs in a losing effort for the Heat.

The Heat (3-1) currently shares second spot in Canada West with three other teams.

This weekend, UBCO will take to the road when they visit Mount Royal.

Heat men 0-4

The UBC Okanagan men's squad slipped to 0-4 to start the season after a sweep at the hands of the Saskatchewan Huskies over the weekend in Kelowna.

The matches were played a day late, Saturday and Sunday, due to the Huskies flight out of Saskatoon being cancelled Friday.

Clearly missing the presence of Canada West all-star Nate Speijer—recovering from an appendectomy—the Heat lost in four sets on Saturday night  (23-25,25-14,25-20,25-22).

Riley McFarland and Greg Niemantsverdriet carried the offensive workload for the Heat throughout the game, combining for 97 total kill attempts, putting down 16 and 15 respectively.

On Sunday, the Huskies swept the Heat 3-0 (25-21, 25-20, 25-19).

One bright spot in an otherwise difficult match was the setting. "Kristof (Schlagintweit) did an excellent job setting," commented Heat head coach Greg Poitras. "The adversity that he's under in having to run plays and make decisions on the fly, it's incredible that he can do so and still have the set quality. I'm pretty happy about that."

Niemantsverdriet led the Heat with 12 kills and contributed four digs.

The Heat will be in Calgary this weekend for two matches against the Mount Royal Cougars.


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