Michelle Jakszuk had 17 kills and 20 digs, both career highs, in Friday’s win. -Image: UBC Okanagan Heat athletics

Heat open 2018 with sweep of Pandas

UBCO women win a pair of four-set Canada West volleyball matches over Alberta

The UBC Okanagan Heat served up the new year in style with a two-game sweep of Alberta in Canada West women’s volleyball action.

The Heat, who finished 2017 with a pair of losses to Calgary, rebounded on Friday night at the UBCO gym with a 3-1 victory over the Pandas, 25-16, 23-25, 25-17 and 25-20.

Michelle Jakszuk led the way with her best game in a Heat uniform, finishing with career-highs in both kills (17) and digs (20). Setter Sara McCreary had an impressive night, setting up the Heat hitters with 46 assists, while Erin Drew had a team-high seven blocks, and Richards led the Heat with three service aces.

On Saturday, in one of the most exciting matches for the Heat this season, Steve Manuel’s team again prevailed in four sets (23-25, 25-22, 25-18, 27-25).

Siobhan Fitpatrick and Jakszuk led UBCO with 16 kills a piece while Fitzpatrick also recorded a double-double as she had 15 digs.

McCreary,who had another 44 assists, came into the game leading the conference in assists per set at 10.63.

Fourth year libero Sophia Furlan had 15 digs, her fourth best total of the season so far.

The Heat, now 10-4, head into a bye week, before returning to action this weekend when they travel to Manitoba for a pair of matches Jan. 19 and 20 against the Brandon Bobcats.

Men

The UBCO men couldn’t handle the fifth-ranked Golden Bears, succumbing to back-to-back sweeps in Kelowna.

On Friday, Alberta rolled to a three-set win 25-19, 25-20, 25-16.

Lars Bornemann led the Heat with 13 kills. Morgan Nichols had the team-high in assists, with 15, while Eli Risso had 10 digs.

On Saturday, it was a repeat performance as the Golden Bears recorded a 3-0 win (25-15, 25-16, 25-17).

Second-year outside hitter Kyle Hinchey made his first start since a return from injury and had nine kills and three digs.

The Heat (5-9) will have a bye next weekend before they travel to Brandon (9-3) to face the Bobcats on Jan. 19 and 20. The Pandas will continue their road trip next weekend when they travel to face the Mount Royal Cougars (2-11).

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