The UBC Okanagan Heat were simply too much for the defending CIS champs.
Steve Manuel’s Heat women’s volleyball squad proved again it is one of the nation’s top teams by sweeping the Manitoba Bisons in Canada West women’s volleyball action.
The No. 4-ranked Heat, now 4-2, opened the weekend with a 3-1 win (25-15, 19-25, 26-11, 25-23) over the Bisons on Friday.
Third-year outside hitter Megan Festival led the Heat with 16 kills. Fourth-year middle Katie Wuttunee and fourth-year outside hitter Brianna Beamish joined Festival in double-digit kills with 13 and 10, respectively.
On Saturday, it was an even more impressive performance by UBCO in a 3-0 (25-17, 25-15, 25-15) victory.
The home team put its foot on the gas right from the get-go and Manitoba had a hard time staying on balance for the entirety of the match.
Strong offensive pressure by the Heat created non-ideal scoring opportunities for the Bisons, which in turn helped the Heat defense shut down many offensive chances for their opponents.
Heat coach Steve Manuel opted to start fourth-year Chandler Proch at setter over the previous night’s starter in sophomore Emily Oxland, a move that would not disappoint as Proch went for 23 assists, three kills and seven digs.
In the end, the Heat’s depth and balance were too much for Manitoba.
“We have a very deep team and we have a lot of confidence in our young players, and we’re not afraid to play them, and I think that’s a big difference,” said Heat coach Steve Manuel. “You can look down the bench and we’re not afraid to put people in there at various times.”
The Heat heads to the Lower Mainland this weekend for a pair matches against the UBC Thunderbirds.
The UBC Okanagan men are still in search of their first victory of the Canada West season after dropping two matches at home to the Manitoba Bisons.
On Friday, the Bisons prevailed 3-0 (25-22, 25-17, 25-22).
The Heat committed a total of 18 service errors over the three-set match and, when combined with other error categories, 55 per cent of the Bison’s points came from Okanagan blunders.
“We obviously didn’t execute our game plan very well,” said second-year Heat outside hitter Lars Bornemann. “We gave them way too much credit on their hitting.”
Third-year middle Jim Bell was the Heat’s Player of the Game for the night as he completed a game-high 17-kill (.387) outing.
On Saturday, an improved effort wasn’t good enough as the Heat fell 3-1 (21-25, 25-18, 25-16, 25-22). Bell again led the Heat with 15 kills while Bornemann had 11.
The Heat (0-6) will be in Vancouver this weekend for a pair of matches against the UBC Thunderbirds.