Heat men upset T'Birds in Canada West volleyball
After going an uninspiring 2-10 during the first semester, the UBC Okanagan Heat men's volleyball squad couldn't have asked for a better start to 2014.
Greg Poitras' team unexpectedly swept away the No. 3-ranked UBC Thunderbirds in back-to-back Canada West matches in Kelowna to push its season record to 4-10
On Friday, the Heat upset the T'Birds 3-0 (25-16, 25-21, 25-22), as rookie Lars Bornemann set the pace with 11 kills. UBCO also compiled 12 team blocks to stifle the UBC attack.
On Saturday, the Heat proved there previous night's win as no fluke with a hard-fought five-set 3-2 (25-23, 25-27, 25-23, 18-25, 15-11) victory.
Player of the Game Alex Swiatlowski led all hitters with 20 kills on 39 attempts in the finest game of his young career. Nate Speijer provided 17 kills, in addition to two service aces that came at important junctures in the match.
"We faced a bunch of adversity in this one," said Greg Poitras, the Heat's head coach. "They threw a different lineup at us tonight, and it took us a set or two to adjust.
"Lars was the hero (Friday) , and (Saturday) it was Alex that stepped up," added Poitras. "Nate was in a zone that we've seen before, and we were really happy to see him in that zone. His service reception and attacking was at a level that a lot of teams would be unable to stop."
After a sparkling first semester, the Heat women ran into a brick wall—also known as the No. 1 ranked UBC Thunderbirds—to open up the 2014 schedule.
The defending national champs swept the Heat in back-to-back matches in Kelowna to move to 14-0. UBCO is now 10-4.
On Friday, the second-place Heat battled hard but fell 3-1 (25-20, 25-15, 20-25, 25-18) to UBC. Megan Festival led the Heat attack with 10 kills, while chipping in nine digs.
On Saturday, UBC was in control from start to finish, posting a 3-0 win (25-10, 25-16, 25-21).
"I thought UBC played really solid and really didn't give us anything," said Heat head coach Steve Manuel. "This wasn't our team and not the way we've shown we can play."
Kaitlynn Given led all Heat scorers with six kills and nine digs.
Both Heat teams will be on the road this weekend as they travel to Langley to take on the Trinity Western Spartans.