Two weeks into the new campaign, the UBC Okanagan Heat is living up to its preseason billing as one of the teams to beat in CIS women’s volleyball.
Steve Manuel’s fourth-ranked Heat boosted its 2013-14 Canada West record to a perfect 4-0 with a weekend sweep of the Mount Royal Cougars at the Kelowna campus gym.
On Saturday afternoon, the Heat prevailed over the Cougars in four sets (25-16, 25-21, 23-25, 25-15).
Kaitlynn Given spearheaded the UBCO attack with 16 kills, while fellow outside hitter Brianna Beamish added 14 kills and 12 digs. On defense, libero Lenai Schmidt put up 14 digs, and Katy Klomps had 10 block assists and five solo blocks.
On Sunday, the Heat defense ruled again in a 3-0 (25-14, 25-20, 25-22) sweep.
Given led the Heat attack with 11 kills and made a strong defensive contribution with 15 digs. Fellow outside hitter Brianna Beamish launched nine kills of her own, while on the defensive end Schmidt put up 22 digs as the Heat rebounded from a five-point deficit in the final set.
“I think we did a very good job of executing what we worked on all week,” said Heat head coach Steve Manuel. “I’m very proud of how the team played and reacted to the match, especially the comeback in third set.”
The Heat women will hit the road for the first time this season when they visit the Brandon Bobcats on Friday and Saturday.
Heat men get 1st win
The Heat men’s team hit the win column for the first time this season beating Mount Royal Sunday afternoon in straight sets (25-18, 25-22, 25-23).
The convincing victory came after a tough five-set defeat and the hands the Cougars on Saturday afternoon.
“We started out pretty rough against Mount Royal and didn’t really start playing good volleyball until the third and fourth sets (Saturday),” said Heat head coach Greg Poitras. “We carried that through (Sunday) and had some good repeat performances that we needed.”
Heat outside hitter Nate Speijer smacked a commanding 20 kills and also led in digs with 11. Speijer put down 25 kills in the five-setter on Saturday, for 45 kills in just eight sets vs Mount Royal. Third-year Briercrest transfer and Heat player of the game Kyle Pankratz logged eight kills and seven digs on Sunday.
This weekend, the Heat (1-3) will travel to Brandon to play the Bobcats.