In preparation for their second season of Canada West competition, the UBC Okanagan Heat men’s volleyball squad took to the road for one last weekend of preseason exhibition play, winning two of three matches.
Thursday night saw the Heat taking on the visiting Fudan University squad from Shanghai, China at the UBC War Memorial Gymnasium.
The Heat struggled early in the opening set with errors, but then an offensive run spearheaded by outside hitters Nate Speijer and Riley McFarland sent them into the lead, never looking back. Fudan made a comeback run in the second set after the Heat took a commanding 7 point lead, but could not quite overcome the sharp UBC Okanagan offense on Friday night. The Heat won in straight sets 3-0 (25-21, 25-22, 25-20).
On Friday UBC Okanagan had their second B.C. Cup match of the year, this time against inter-campus rivals, the UBC Thunderbirds.
The Thunderbirds took an exciting first set 27-25 and looked to take an equally thrilling second set off of UBC Okanagan, but the Heat fought hard and captured the second set 26-24. Ever determined, the Heat continued to play a strong offensive match and won the first inter-campus matchup of the year in four sets 3-1 (25-27, 26-24, 25-16, 25-17). The win also earned UBC Okanagan their first point toward this year’s B.C. Cup competition.
In their final exhibition matchup of the preseason, the Heat lost to the defending CIS champions Trinity Western Spartans 3-0 (25-18, 25-11, 25-16).
“All in all this was a positive tour for our squad,” said head coach Greg Poitras. “We had highs and lows that go along with competing this time of year. We will take positives from all three matches.”
“The season is right around the corner and we have a lot of work to do in preparation. We are much more healthy than we were a few weeks ago and so the training has been very competitive as of late.”
The Heat are off until their season opener on the road against Thompson Rivers on Oct. 26 in Kamloops.