The UBC Okanagan Heat head into a bye week in a good frame of mind after running their Canada West volleyball match winning streak to an even dozen.
After taking down Thompson Rivers University 3-1 on Thursday in Kelowna, the Wolfpack made the Heat women work much harder for a tight five-set victory (25-12, 21-25, 25-15, 23-25, 15-10) on Saturday in Kamloops.
With the victory, UBCO (16-4) clinched a conference playoff berth for the third straight season.
Heat coach Steve Manuel considered the match a character builder for both sides.
“They are so tough to play,” he said. “They keep coming. They are making smart decisions and making the right play at the right time to keep you off balance. We are a streaky team. It is not uncommon for us. We know we are going to be like that. TRU put us off balance more than normal.”
UBC Okanagan was led by Brianna Beamish with 18 kills in 40 chances with three digs and two block assists. Katy Klomps had 14 kills in 23 attempts (.458) with a service ace, three digs, a solo block and nine block assists. Emily Oxland had 41 assists and 10 digs for the Heat.
After a week off, the first-place Heat will return to action Jan. 29 and 30 in Calgary against the Mount Royal Cougars.
Heat men eliminated
TRU put an end to the Heat men’s recent run of success with a weekend sweep of UBC Okanagan.
The Wolpack ended the Heat’s six-game win streak Thursday in Kelowna with a 3-0 win (28-26, 25-22, 25-23).
Then on Saturday, TRU came back from two sets down to push aside the Heat, 21-25, 20-25, 25-16, 25-19, 15-10. The losses officially eliminated the Heat from Canada West playoff contention.
“We take lessons away from every match,” said Heat coach Greg Poitras. We played good ball for two sets. We had an opportunity in the third set. We need to hone in on different opportunities we had. It was a good experience for our guys.”
UBC Okanagan (6-14) had three players in double digits for kills on Saturday, led by Lars Bornemann with 13 in 36 chances with a service ace, five digs, two solo blocks and three block assists.
Kristof Schlagintweight had 40 assists five digs, one solo block and five block assists.
The Heat, who have this weekend off, will return to action Jan. 29 and 30 at Mount Royal in Calgary.