The turn of the calendar did nothing to slow down the UBC Okanagan women’s volleyball squad.
Steve Manuel’s Heat women rolled into 2015 with a sweep of the Calgary Dinos over the weekend, running their Canada West volleyball win streak to 10 matches. The Heat is now 14-6, two points ahead of Alberta (13-3) for top spot.
The No. 2 nationally-ranked Heat took care of business on Friday with a four-set win over the sixth-ranked Dinos (19-25, 25-19, 25-19, 25-22).
Brianna Beamish, who finished the match off with a patented laser beam in the fourth set, led UBC Okanagan with 10 kills and 11 digs.
Megan Festival chipped in with 11 digs and connected for eight kills. Chandler Proch was named player of the match with 28 assists.
“In the end it was the defence and blocking that made the difference for us,” said head coach Steve Manuel.
On Saturday, the Heat went back to work and, despite a glitch in the third set, posted another 3-1 win (25-14, 25-14, 20-25, 25-21) over Calgary.
Festival paced the Heat on with 15 kills and 13 digs, while fourth-year outside hitter Beamish (Surrey, BC) had 13 kills and five five digs. Libero Kailin Jones contributed 10 digs to the Heat’s defensive effort.
Heat middle Katy Klomps was named Heat Player of the Game for a UBCO squad that looks mentally stronger by the week.
“Our team is maturing,” added Manuel. “We have the ability now to put aside what has happened at any one point in the match and just play from thereon in. It’s something that doesn’t come easy to any team. It’s another step in our development, being able to have a short memory.”
The first-place UBC Okanagan Heat look to run their match winning streak to 11 on Thursday night when they host the Thompson Rivers University Wolfpack in Canada West women’s volleyball action.
First serve at the Kelowna campus is 6 p.m.
Six straight for Heat men
After losing 12 matches to start the Canada West season, the UBC Okanagan men have found their groove.
Greg Poitras’ Heat took down Calgary in back-to-back matches last weekend to run their win streak to six (6-12).
UBCO needed five sets on Friday (26-24, 16-25, 21-25, 25-21, 15-12).
The Heat was solid at the net with 17 blocks, including nine from middle Leo Schober and five from Josh Harvey. Jim Bell was the offensive bell ringer for the winning squad he hit .375 with 20 kills and was in on six blocks.
On Saturday, a cleaner effort by UBCO in a four-set win (22-25, 25-21, 25-21, 25-23).
Lars Bornemann, who finished the match off with a kill to close out the fourth set , had eight kills atch and two of his team’s eight service aces.
Bell had four kills in the fourth set and led UBC Okanagan with 14 kills overall.
Third years Alex Swiatlowski and Heat Player of the Game Kristof Schlagintweit contributed 10 digs each.
“We’ve turned around our confidence, knowing we can execute our skills and that it doesn’t matter what they do on their side,” said Schlagintweit Now that we’re winning again, it makes it easier to play well.”
The Heat look to run their win streak seven on Thursday night when they host TRU. Game time is 8 p.m.