The UBC Okanagan Heat celebrated a Canada West win over UBC on Saturday. -Image: Heat Athletics

The UBC Okanagan Heat celebrated a Canada West win over UBC on Saturday. -Image: Heat Athletics

Heat women split with national champs

UBC Okanagan opened Canada West volleyball season at home to Thunderbirds

The UBC Okanagan Heat didn’t get out of the gates as hoped but made amends a night later to earn a split on opening weekend of the Canada West women’s volleyball season.

On Friday at the Kelowna campus gym, Steve Manuel’s squad fell to the visiting defending U SPORTS champion UBC Thunderbirds 3-1 (25-18, 18-25, 18-25, 24-26).

Veteran hitter Siobhan Fitzpatrick and recent transfer Ann Richards led the the offensive charge for UBC Okangan, combining for 27 kills and 28 total points.

UBC’s Kiera Van Ryk was the most dominant player on the court in the first match of the year, burying 19 kills on a .424 hitting percentage.

On Saturday, a reversal of fortunes as the Heat prevailed 3-1 (23-25, 29-27, 25-14, 25-22).

Fitzpatrick and Richards again led the attack for the Heat. Fitzpatrick finished with 15 kills, 11 digs and a service ace while Richards put away 11 kills, had 11 digs and served up a pair of aces. Aidan Lea added 10 kills, while Sara McCreary had 42 assists, and Michelle Jakszuk had a team-high 14 digs and seven kills.

The Heat (1-1) heads to Langley (1-1) this weekend for two matches with the Trinity Western Spartans.

Heat men

The UBCO men had their hands full with UBC in their season openers, losing both matches at home to the Thunderbirds.

On Friday, the Heat fell in a tight four-set match (25-21, 23-25, 21-25, 22-25). Lars Bornemann and Kyle Hinchey led the Heat attack, finishing with 17 and 10 kills respectively.

On Saturday, a familiar result in a 3-1 T-Birds win (18-25, 17-25, 25-21, 25-22).

Bornemann again led the way for UBCO with 10 kills. Lucas Robertson and Jon Russo each finished in double digits for assists with 21 and 10, respectively.

The Heat (0-2) will head to Langley this weekend for matches against the TWU Spartans (2-0).

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