The weight of a winless season has been lifted from collective shoulders of the UBC Okanagan men’s volleyball squad.
The Heat ended a 12-game losing streak to start the Canada West men’s season with a sweep of two matches over the hometown University of Regina Cougars.
On Friday night, UBCO pulled out a four-set victory (26-24, 22-25, 25-21, 25-17).
Jim Bell and Lars Bornemann provided the majority of the offence for the Heat, as Bell finished with a match-high 18 and 15 kills respectively.
Bell’s total of 18 kills was even more impressive considering the third-year middle missed almost the entire fourth after suffering an injury early in the set.
Debuting at Libero was fourth year transfer from Camosun College Tanner March who was praised by coach Greg Poitras following the win.
On Saturday, an even more complete effort from the Heat in a 3-0 sweep of the Cougars 25-18, 29-27 and 27-25.
Bornemann had 14 kills, Alex Swiatlowski had nine, while and eight each came from Josh Harvey and Kyle Pankratz. Harvey’s eight kills came on eight attacks, giving the third-year middle from Cochrane, Alta. a perfect hitting percentage for the match. Kristof Schlagintweit finished with 34 assists for UBC Okanagan, while libero Jeremy Fostvelt led all players with 11 digs.
“We finally (won) some late stretch battles,” said Heat coach Greg Poitras. “We remained calm under pressure for the most part.”
When asked whether the two wins over the weekend signaled the turning of the chapter for the squad, Poitras offered that, “I don’t think we are overly satisfied with the level we are playing at yet. Some confidence was built with the sweep.”
UBC Okanagan (2-12) will look to extend its winning streak this weekend with a pair of home matches, Friday and Saturday, against Canada West newcomer MacEwan from Edmonton.
Steve Manuel’s Heat women’s squad kept rolling with a weekend sweep of the Regina Cougars.
UBCO (10-4) have now won six straight Canada West matches.
On Friday, the Heat cleaned up in straight sets, 25-8, 25-21, 25-21.
Kaitlynn Given and Megan Festival each had a team-high eight kills for UBC Okanagan, while Brianna Beamish had seven and Klomps and Katie Wuttunee each had six. Klomps was a force at the net for the Heat, registering 12 blocks as UBC Okanagan had 14 as a team over the three-set match.
On Saturday, the Heat had to work a little harder but still prevailed 25-23, 25-20, 25-23.
Canada West hitting efficiency leader Katie Wuttunee led UBCO with 12 kills on just 17 attacks, finishing the match with a .588 hitting percentage to hope push the Heat to victory.
UBCO Okanagan has won 20 of 24 sets in November.
“It was a solid weekend for our team, not only in the outcome but we got a chance to really work on some fine tuning,” says the most efficient attacker in Canada West converting 38.2-percent of her chances. “Tonight was a messy win but I think that it’s beneficial to be able to win ugly. Our passing allowed us to run more on our offense than last night and that really opened up opportunities from both pins and the middle.”
UBC Okanagan will look to extend its winning streak this weekend with a pair of home matches against Canada West newcomer MacEwan.
The first meeting as Canada West foes between the Heat and the Griffins are scheduled for 6 p.m. on Friday at UBC Okanagan, with the rematch Saturday at 5 p.m.