Canada’s No. 1 ranked team in women’s volleyball has taken care of business over the first two weeks of the Canada West women’s season.
The UBC Okanagan Heat swept a pair of matches from the U of S Huskies on the weekend in Saskatoon to push their early season mark to a perfect 4-0.
“We are very happy with the team’s performance so far,” said Heat head coach Steve Manuel. “Our student athletes work extremely hard in the off season and came into training camp in great physical condition. This has kept us quite healthy throughout the pre season and has prepared us well for the start of the season.”
On Friday night at the Physical Activity Centre, the Heat dropped the first set 19-25, then rallied to win the next three 27-25, 25-20, 25-14, handing the Huskies their first loss of the season.
Breanna Beamish (13), Megan Festival (11) and Katie Wuttunee (10) all reached double figures in kills to lead UBCO to victory.
Heat setter Emily Oxland had four service aces and 26 assists.
On Saturday, the Heat followed up with a convincing 3-0 win (25-12, 25-15, 25-15) for the series sweep.
Erin Drew, coming off the bench and playing in just two sets, finished tied for the team lead with four blocks with fourth-year outside hitter Kaitlynn Given.
Brianna Beamish was efficient with her team high 10 kills, converting on 56 per cent of her attacks, while recording four of her team’s 10 service aces. Megan Festival finished with seven kills and eight digs.
“Anytime you win back to back on the road it’s a great weekend,” Manuel added.
The Heat returns home this weekend to take on the Winnipeg Wesmen at the UBCO gym—Friday at 6 p.m. and Saturday at 2 p.m.
The Heat men played well but couldn’t follow the women’s lead and dropped both matches to the Saskatchewan Huskies.
On Friday, UBCO came out on the short end of a tough five-set match (25-21, 27-25, 17-25, 26-28, 11-15).
Fourth-year outside hitter Jim Bell led UBC Okanagan’s attack with 20 kills on 42 attempts. Lars Bornemann and Alex Swiatlowski had 16 and 14 kills, respectively.
On Saturday, the Huskies posted a 3-0 win (25-21, 25-20, 25-10) over the Heat.
Bornemann was the offensive leader for UBCO recording 10 kills on the night, while Bell and Swiatlowski had six kills each and combined for 11 digs. Adam Kern, starting for his second game in a row, had five kills.
The Heat, now 1-3 on the season, will host the University of Winnipeg this weekend. Games at the Kelowna campus gym go at 8 p.m. on Friday and 4 p.m. on Saturday.