After being upset by pestering rival Vancouver Island University in the semis, the Heat swept Humber College, qualifying for the Bronze medal match against the FX Garrneau Élans. Emotionally drained from the previous night’s fall to the Mariners, and physically drained from the bout against Humber College earlier in the day, the defending CCAA Champions were stunned again when the Elans kept the Heat away from the podium, winning the Bronze Medal 3 sets to 1 (25-21, 25-18, 19-25, 25-22). Myrte Schön was named the Heat’s Player of the Match, doing a bit of everything to tally 16 kills, 14 digs and 5 blocks. Alex Basso was selected as a national championship second team all-star and teammate Myrte Schön was selected to the tournament first all-star team.
Though down in an 0-2 whole against the Élans, the Heat knew from previous experience against VIU the night before that nothing’s over until it’s over. They dominated most of the 3rd set, rallying their spirits and confidence to start what would have been a remarkable comeback, but ultimately were fended off in a tough and gritty 4th and final set 25-22.
The Heat must now go home from their last Collegiate National Championship empty handed (the team will be competing in the Canada Inter-University Sport league next year) but nevertheless had a successful season for returning veterans and upcoming rookies alike that will only serve to build upon their ambitions at their new level of competition.
Recap from the tournament website below and at http://j.mp/dNjN9D
The UBCO Heat, the favourites coming into this tournament, find themselves playing for the bronze medal tonight after the heartbreaking defeat at the hands of the VIU Mariners yesterday. The FX-Garneau Élans, second favourites, are also in the same boat, having lost to Mount Royal in 5 sets as well yesterday. It is with a lot of intensity that both teams took the court today.
Both teams played tentatively at the start of the match, and they exchanged points one at a time, due to some missed serve opportunities on both sides. Garneau is very efficient at the bloc in the early going, especially against Heat all-Canadian Alex Basso, and the team leads 11-9 after a missed serve from setter Caitlin Nyhus.
Following a block from Annie McLaughlin, coach Steve Manuel calls a timeout at 17-15, in the hopes of motivating his team to come back before it is too late. A block from McLaughlin and a smart roll shot from Roxanne Ouimet give a 20-16 lead to Garneau, which forces Manuel to use his second timeout.
Ouimet misses her serve, and the Heat is still in the set. Manuel’s decision to change his setter and right side player seems to spark his team, and the Heat reduces Garneau’s lead to 24-21, which leads to a timeout call from Paquette. Nevertheless, Garneau regroups at the next point, and wins the set 25-21. Garneau leads the match 1-0.
The Heat start the second set with a 3-0 lead, but Garneau keeps clawing back. Some exceptional work by middle player McLaughlin in the backcourt and at serve gives her team a 10-5 lead, but the Heat does not give up, and score two quick points. At 13-7, Manuel calls his first timeout, but his team does not respond, playing careless ball for numerous points.
At the end of the set, the Heat finally decides to wake up, and reduce Garneau’s lead to 18-15. A visibly shaken Paquette immediately calls a timeout to spark his team, and they respond right away. All-star Basso is visibly not as efficient as her team’s last two matches, and another error on her part gives Garneau a 21-18 lead. Garneau wins the set 25-18, and lead the match 2-0.
The Heat must win this third set if it hopes to extend this bronze medal match. Behind some powerful serves of setter Nyhus, the Heat leads 4-0 in the first few instants of the set. Basso seems to have regained her stride, and she leads her team to a 12-6 advantage. Garneau keeps picking away at this lead, and Manuel must take a timeout at 13-11 to motivate his team.
UBCO must be aggressive at the net to beat the Garneau block, and they start doing this at the end of the set. At 20-17 for the Heat, Paquette calls his second timeout, in vain. The Heat wins 25-19, but Garneau still leads the match 2-1.
Garneau knows that another set gives them the bronze medal, and the team starts the fourth set on fire, leading 6-2 before Manuel’s first timeout. A setter change for UBCO seems to hurt them at 7-4, and Alyssa Fields-Bouchard takes advantage of two overbumps to crush the ball in Heat territory. Garneau now leads 10-4, and Manuel takes his second timeout.
Nyhus, on the court again, gives many good passes to her hitters, who simply are not converting on this day. A Heat comeback, behind good serves from Nyhus, reduces the lead to 14-12. Two consecutive errors from middle blocker Kaylan Gouldsborough increases Garneau’s lead to 18-13. Sad moment at 20-17 when Garneau star player Roxanne Ouimet hurts her left ankle, and stayed down on the court for a few minutes. After missing two opportunities to close the match, Paquette asks for a timeout at 24-21, and this seems to motivate his girls. Garneau wins the set 25-22, and wins the bronze medal.
Player of the game for the Heat is Myrte Schon, with 16 kills, 14 digs and 5 blocks. For Garneau, this honour goes to Sarah Gosselin, with 19 kills and 5 blocks.
Full tournament Schedule:
1. University of British Columbia-Okanagan
3. Mount Royal University
4. Vancouver Island University
5. Grande Prairie Regional College
6. Humber College
7. Mount Allison University
8. University of New Brunswick-Saint John
Thursday March 10
Game #1 1pm – FXG vs Mount Allison
Game # 2 3pm – Mount Royal vs Humber
Game # 3 6pm – UBCO vs UNB-SJ
Game # 4 8pm – VIU vs GPRC
Friday March 11
Game # 5 1pm – Mt. Allison vs Humber
Game # 6 3pm – UNB-SJ vs GPRC
Game # 7 6pm – FXG vs Mount Royal (semi-final)
Game # 8 8pm – Heat vs VIU (semi-final)
Saturday March 12
Game # 9 10am – FXG vs GPRC
Game # 10 12pm – Heat vs Humber
Game # 11 2pm – Mt. Allison vs UNB-SJ (7th/8th place)
Game # 12 5pm – Heat vs FXG (Bronze Medal)
Game # 13 7pm – Mount Royal vs VIU 8 (Gold Medal)