The Heat used great team defense to take down the 5th seeded Humber College Hawks in 4 sets (23-25, 25-18, 25-20, 25-22) Friday night. The Heat’s Preston Tucker, fresh off of winning the CCAA Male Volleyball Player of Year at the Opening ceremonies of Wednesday, added the Player of the Match in a national semi-final to his resume. #9 Brandon Long led the Humber Hawks and earned Humber’s Player of the Match.
The Heat played a great defensive game despite missing Aleks Bergen, the 6’8” middle blocker who went down to injury and spent the game on the bench on crutches watching two first year players step up their game capably trying to replace Bergen’s size 16 shoes. First year Keegan Hoffman and Cailen Lochhead both saw extended playing time due to Bergen’s injury and both played well throughout the four sets.
Preston Tucker earned the Player of the Match as he was able to distribute the ball evenly amongst his teammates, yet still feeding his favourite recipient, Nate Speijer enough balls to lead the Heat with a game high 19 kills. Greg Niemantsverdriet also benefitted from Tuckers sublime sets as he finished with 12 kills. Mark Broome and Chris Howe shored up the middle in Bergen’s absence, both contributing with key blocks.
For the Heat they now advance to the Gold medal match at the CCAA Men’s Volleyball National Championship. The Gold medal game will happen Saturday night at 5:00pm (PST), where the Heat will square off against a familiar foe as the Columbia Bible College Bearcats. The Bearcats took down the second seeded Briercrest Clippers in the other semi-final Friday in 5 sets (17-25, 25-14, 25-22, 18-25, 15-8). The Heat have beaten Bearcats three times this year already, in 4 sets two weeks ago in Kelowna in the Provincial Final, also in Kelowna in 4 sets in January and in 3 sets in late October in Abbotsford.
For the National Tournament Website visit: http://www.ccaamensvolleyball2011.ca/ to watch live: http://diffusion.tvgo.ca/volleyball-ca/.
Full tournament Schedule:
1. University of British Columbia-Okanagan
2. Briercrest College
3. Cegep de Sherbrooke
4. Red Deer College
5. Humber College
6. Columbia Bible College
7. Cegep Limoilou
8. University of King's College
The schedule is as follows:
Thursday March 10
Game #1 12pm – UBCO vs UKC
Game # 2 2pm – Red Deer vs Humber
Game # 3 6pm – Sherbrooke vs Columbia Bible
Game # 4 8pm – Briercrest vs Limoilou
Friday March 11
Game # 5 12pm – UKC vs Red Deer
Game # 6 2pm – Sherbrooke vs Limoilou
Game # 7 6pm – Heat vs Humber (semi-final)
Game # 8 8pm – Briercrest vs Columbia Bible 4 (semi-final)
Saturday March 12
Game # 9 10am – HUMBER COLLEGE vs CÉGEP LIMOILOU
Game # 10 12pm – RED DEER COLLEGE vs BRIERCREST COLLEGE AND SEMINARY
Game # 11 2pm – UNIVERSITY OF KING’S COLLEGE vs CÉGEP DE SHERBROOKE
Game # 12 5pm – Winners of game 9 & 10 (Bronze Medal)
Game # 13 7pm – HEAT vs COLUMBIA BIBLE COLLEGE (Gold Medal)