The Heat men made it tough on the No. 6 Alberta Golden Bears on Saturday night but would drop their second straight to the home team in three sets.
After dropping the opener set 25-16 to the Bears, the Heat pushed the home team to 25-20 in the remaining two sets. The UBCO block was one of the main reasons for this improved form, as they had 11 blocks in the match.
Max Heppell had nine kills to lead the attack for the home team while rookie middle Teo Ardanaz had three blocks and three kills.
Third-year outside hitter Taryq Sani led Alberta with 19 kills and seven digs while Friday’s star Alex McMullin had 10 kills in his final regular season game in Edmonton made an impact in the middle with three blocks and three kills
Alberta improves to 15-5 in the Canada West conference, while the Heat is still searching for their first win of the season, falling to 0-20.
UBC Okanagan finishes their regular season next week in the Furnace against the Thompson Rivers University WolfPack. Alberta will be on the road for two games with the Winnipeg Wesmen.
Next weekend in Kelowna the Presidents’ Cup will wrap up and be awarded, as the season series in all sports between UBC Okanagan and TRU will have run its course, the Heat men will have to win both nights to have a shot at bringing the Cup back home to Kelowna. On Saturday night the Heat men will graduate just one player, Brennan Goski, and he will be celebrated in a ceremony prior to his match on Saturday.
“I don’t feel any more positive or negative about the results than I did yesterday,” said Heat head coach, Brad Hudson.
“I like our group a lot. We have a lot of kids who work hard and care, and just because the outcome isn’t what you want, it doesn’t devalue your commitment level to the process… Today I thought we were a little more consistent in all phases and we started to get those breaks a little bit.”
The Golden Bears attack finished the match hitting .366 compared to the visitors .133. Alberta also had 11 more digs then UBCO (30-19)
In the third set, it turned into the Sani show as the high-flying power hitter had nine of his 19 kills to help Alberta lead the entire third set. His power was on display with three kills on the final four Bears points. Sani was able to do what he does best. Jump high and hit hard.
“When you get down to 20-20 or 20-19, it comes down to making plays and they have someone like Taryq who is capable of doing exceptional things at important times,” said Hudson.
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