The UBC Okanagan Heat men’s volleyball squad will head north this week as continues its tune up for the 2013-14 Canada West.
On Thursday night, the Heat will travel to Kamloops to take on the TRU Wolfpack.
The Heat and Wolpack will also play in feature games on Friday in Prince George and Saturday in Quesnel.
Meanwhile, the Heat men looked solid at home in their first pre-season action of the 2013-2014 season against Trinity Western. A fourth-set stretching into the thirties seemed like it would never end, but kills by Ryan Sclater and Blake Scheerhoorn would put the finishing touches on the Heat comeback, and Trinity Western would earn the victory 3-1 (25-22,25-10, 14-25, 32-30) at UBC’s Okanagan campus on Saturday night.
The game served as an ample opportunity for Heat head coach Greg Poitras to play around with multiple lineups, which is important, considering how many new faces the Heat have welcomed for this season.
“With such a young team, this is our first real six-on-six action,” said Poitras following the game. “We have been working mainly on skills in camp. Now we’ll start to ramp it up.”
As usual, Nate Speijer (fifth year) was the top kill man on the night for the Heat, making a triumphant return to UBC Okanagan Gymnasium to the tune of 18 kills. Joshua Harvey added 7 kills on 13 attempts, along with six blocks for a very solid stat line on the evening. Heat rookies Kris McCrea and Chris Wilson would add 3 and 2 kills respectively in the first Canada West action of their careers.
Besides the strong play from Heat players young and old, the most encouraging sign from the home team was their ability to battle and their refusal to break under the Spartan pressure.
The Heat will start their Canada West league action versus the same WolfPack with a home-and-away series. Friday, Oct. 25 at 7 p.m. will be the home opener for the Heat and on Saturday the two teams will once again clash in Kamloops at the Tournament Capital Centre. First serve in Kamloops is 6 p.m.
Canada West conference play will once again be broadcast on canadawest.tv.