The UBC Okanagan Heat would like nothing more than to get back to the CIS national women’s volleyball championship.
The road to get there starts this week in Calgary.
Steve Manuel’s Heat will face the hometown University of Calgary Dinos in a best-of-three Canada West quarterfinals, beginning on Friday night.
Match 2 goes Saturday, with a third, if needed, set for Sunday afternoon in Calgary.
The series winner will advance to the Canada West Final Four the following weekend at the U of Alberta in Edmonton.
The Dinos (18-6) finished fourth in the conference, while UBCO (15-9) placed fifth.
During the regular season, the teams split a pair of matches in Calgary.
The Heat closed out the regular season over the weekend at home with a two-match sweep of Grant MacEwan, eliminating the Griffins from the playoff picture.
On Friday, UBCO needed five sets (22-25, 25-23, 21-25, 25-21, 15-8) to down the Griffins.
Siobhan Fitzpatrick led the way with 15 kills for the Heat, while Megan Festival and Aidan Lea had 12 and 10 kills respectively.
Emily Oxland had a match-high 22 digs, and Fitzpatrick tied with Kaitlynn Given for most service aces, with three.
On Saturday, UBCO cruised to a 3-0 win (25-11, 25-23, 25-23).
Given ended her Heat regular season career with a match-high 13 kills and added nine digs. Festival, Lea and Fitpatrick all contributed for Heat with nine kills apiece. Oxland had a match highs in 36 assists and 16 digs.
After the match Festival, Oxland and Given were honoured on Seniors Night, recognizing the careers of the three fifth-year grads.
New mark for Heat men…
The UBC Okanagan men didn’t make the postseason but ended the 2016-17 on a high note by establishing a new program record for victories.
The Heat took two matches from Grant MacEwan to finish the campaign at 9-15, the most since their inaugural season of 2011-12 when they went 8-12.
On Friday, UBCO beat the Griffins 3-1 (25-15, 20-25, 25-19, and 25-22).
Lars Bornemann led the Heat attack with 17 kills on a .375 hitting percentage, while Kyle Hinchey and Devon Cote had 12 kills apiece.
Prior to Saturday’s match, Alex Swiatlowski and Grant Sonnenberg were honoured on Seniors Night, playing their final games as members of the Heat.
The Heat then proceeded to beat the Griffins 3-1 (22-25, 25-21, 25-15, 25-18).
Lars Bornemann again led the way for the Heat as he finished with a match-high nine kills, but it was second-year libero Eli Risso earned a spot in the record books.
Risso closed out the season with nine digs in the final match, and finished the season with a new Canada West standard of 295.