WOMEN’S VOLLEYBALL WEEKEND PREVIEW
The Heat are in action this weekend, sitting ninth in a conference where the top seven teams make playoffs. With only six matches left, every match is important. UBC Okanagan has their schedule working for them though, as four of their last six matches are at home, and all of their remaining matches are against unranked opponents.
With the Heat’s big win last Saturday against the then No. 3 ranked University of Alberta Pandas, they will look to build on that victory this weekend when hosting the 2-12 University of Regina Cougars. The Cougars dropped both of their matches at home last weekend versus Manitoba and are currently on a 10 game losing streak. Action begins at 6 p.m. both Friday and Saturday Jan. 27-28; watch in person at UBC’s Okanagan campus gym.
Friday, January 27 – The University of Regina Cougars at the UBC Okanagan Heat (6 p.m. PST, UBC’s Okanagan campus, Kelowna, BC)
Saturday, January 28 – The University of Regina Cougars at the UBC Okanagan Heat (6 p.m. PST, UBC’s Okanagan campus, Kelowna, BC)
Both games will be streamed with live video: www.canadawest.tv
CIS National Ranking: N/A
CanWest Standings: 9th
Last Week: 1-1; Fri 3-1 loss to Alberta, Sat 3-1 win over to Alberta
Streak: 1 win
2010 CanWest Record: N/A
2010 CanWest Championship: N/A
2010 CIS Tournament: N/A
Last CanWest Title: N/A
Last CIS Title: N/A
Full Schedule / Roster
Last Weekend: The Heat faced the No. 3 team in the nation in the University of Alberta Pandas. They pushed Alberta on Friday night before finally falling in four sets (20-25, 25-22, 25-19, 25-19). On Saturday the home Heat took out the Pandas in four sets (16-25, 25-21, 25-16, 25-18), sending the ranked team home with just a split.
Home sweet home: 2 of the Heat’s 3 wins have come at home this season, knocking off CIS no. 3 Alberta and the 6th ranked Winnipeg Wesmen.
Coach Steve Manuel on the importance of the fans: “I think the main part of it: it simply makes it a much more enjoyable atmosphere to play in. It makes it a special event for our student athletes, and our coaching staff, and everyone else involved. It’s a lot more fun; it’s a lot more enjoyable. If you can hear crickets in the stands, it’s just another volleyball game. But if you fill it, and the fans are loud and they enjoy it, it’s more fun for them, it’s more fun for us, and it’s just a more enjoyable experience.”
Third year Jill Festival on the crowd support at home: “I love playing at home. There’s no other feeling like it, just to look out at the crowd and see friends and family being there for you. And sometimes that’s the ‘TSN Turning Point’, the fans. If they’re there the whole game cheering you on, that’s the extra push. I just love playing at home, the atmosphere … there’s nothing like it.”
Chandler’s back: Chandler Proch, returning from a back injury that sidelined her for the team’s trip to Brandon, played both matches this past weekend versus the Pandas. Friday night Chandler doled out 33 assists and eight digs, while on Saturday in the Heat victory she had 29 assists, eight digs, two blocks, and five kills.
Coach Steve Manuel on Chandler’s return to the lineup: “It was sure nice to have her back last Friday and Saturday. She hasn’t missed a beat. She’s been training hard. She trained hard throughout the summer, has been setting for the last five months every day, hitting extra reps, and individual attention. So missing a week or two doesn’t really hurt anything. She’s picked up where she left off, and it’s outstanding to have her back in the lineup.”
In the middle: Katy Klomps, the first year blocker from Surrey, is continuing to have an outstanding rookie season. She sits sixth in Canada West with 1.11 blocks per game, while her 15 solo blocks ranks second in Canada West.
“Katy certainly is coming along very well and is doing a great job for us in the middle,” puts in Manuel. “She is a leader in the country as far as her blocking, and she’s doing great in her hitting percentage as well.”
Last weekend versus the Pandas her hitting percentage was 42.9 percent on Friday, while on Saturday was 28.6 percent; for the year Klomps is at an even 24 percent.
This weekend’s opponent:
REGINA COUGARS (2-12)
CIS National Ranking: N/A
CanWest Standings: 10th
Previous Week: 0-2; Fri 3-0 loss to Manitoba, Sat 3-0 loss to Manitoba
Streak: 10 losses
2011 CanWest Record: 8-10 (7th)
2011 CanWest Championship: 0-2
Last CanWest Title: N/A
Last CIS Title: N/A
The Cougars record: The Cougars are mired in a 10 game losing streak, with their only victories against the winless Saskatchewan Huskies.
Head-to-head: The Heat and Cougars have played each other twice this year, both exhibition matches saw the teams split the two matches. In the preseason the Heat toppled the Cougars in three (25-21, 25-23, 25-20), while Regina bested UBC Okanagan in Edmonton over the winter break in a tight four set match (25-14, 25-22, 14-25, 26-24).
This weekend’s opponent from Heat’s perspective: “They’re a good, experienced team, and they’ve lost a lot of close matches. They’re a big, physical team, with lots of experience, lots of 4th and 5th year players – pretty much all of their starting lineup are 4th and 5th year players. I think we match up fairly well with them. It will be about us playing our game again and taking it to them,” says Manuel.
Kill leader: Fifth year outside hitter Meagan Onstad is once again leading the Cougars in hitting. Onstad is fifth in Canada West at 3.12 kills per set, and this two time Academic All-Canadian has a 12.5 hitting percentage. She is also second in the nation with 99 errors.
Control of the team’s offense: Tiffany Herman, the Cougars’ fifth year setter, is fifth in Canada West at 9.31 assists per set. She led Canada West last year with an average of 10.19 assists per set.
Preseason info from Canada West:
Key addition: MB Trisha Dobson
Key returnees: S Tiffany Herman, LS Meagan Onstad, L Rebecca Rink
Key departures: none
REGINA – Regina returns with one of the most experienced lineups in the conference this season and head coach Melanie Sanford will look to guide her veterans to a jump up in the Canada West standings.
Tiffany Herman will control the team’s offence and was the conference’s leader in assists last season, averaging 10.19 per set. Left side Meagan Onstad finished fourth in the conference last season with an average of 2.98 kills per set, while middle blocker Solveig Nilson enters 2011 with an impressive streak of 74 consecutive Canada West matches started. Rebecca Rink rounds out the team’s fifth-year veterans as starting libero.
Kaitlyn Hughes, a fourth-year player going into her third season as a starter, will join Onstad on the left side. Also entering her fourth season with the Cougars, Roxanne Olynyk will start at right side for Regina.
Michelle Sweeting, who started all 18 matches and had a team-high 54 total blocks last season as a rookie, will join Nilson in the middle.