Year two of competition in the Canada West women’s volleyball couldn’t have started any better for the UBC Okanagan Heat.
Steve Manuel’s squad, which won six games in 2011-12, opened the new CIS season over the weekend with a sweep of Thompson Rivers University.
On Friday in Kamloops, the Heat rolled over the Wolfack in straight sets (25-15, 25-09, 25-18).
Fifth-year outside hitter Alex Basso had an impressive night with nine kills and eight digs against the WolfPack, while fourth-year outside hitter Myrte Schön contributed seven kills and six digs.
On Saturday night, the teams met for a rematch in Kelowna for the Heat’s home opener and again UBCO prevailed 3-0 (25-17, 25-14, 25-12) over TRU.
A balanced Heat attack saw Kendra Wayling tally six kills and seven digs, while outside hitters Schön and Megan Festival added five and four kills respectively. Freshman setter Emily Oxland was a defensive force to be reckoned with in contributing six digs, while Katy Klomps collected two solo blocks and six block assists.
“It’s nice to get the first couple of wins under our belt,” said Heat head coach Steve Manuel. “Overall I’m happy with how the team is competing together, and I really like how many players are stepping up and making contributions in different ways.”
The Heat returns to action this weekend as they host the University of Saskatchewan Huskies, Friday and Saturday at the UBCO gym.
The UBCO men came up empty on the opening weekend of their Canada West season, losing both ends of a home-and-home set to Thompson Rivers.
On Friday in Kamloops, the Wolpack came out on top 3-0 (25-22, 25-18, 25-16).
Fifth-year outside hitter Riley McFarland had a solid game high of 13 kills, while fourth year outside hitter Greg Niemantsverdriet contributed nine kills and three digs over the course of the three sets.
On Saturday in Kelowna, a tighter contest saw the Wolfpack take it 3-1 (25,-17 21-25, 25-22, 25-18).
Despite the result, many first-year Heat players showed promise, including freshman Kristof Schlagintweit who tallied 20 assists, and middle Jim Bell who supplied five kills and six block assists. McFarland led the team in kills on the night with 10, as the Heat struggled with consistency for much of the weekend
“We have a lot of holes to fill,” said Heat libero Jeremy Fostvelt. “We had some poor execution at times. Up and down all weekend. And we have some things to work on, but we’ll figure it out.”
The Heat will look to break into the win column this weekend, hosting the University of Saskatchewan Huskies on Nov. 2 and 3. Friday’s game is scheduled for 8 p.m., while Saturday’s game will begin at 7 p.m.