Men’s Volleyball (Canada West conference play)
Healthy Living Centre, Brandon, MB
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BRANDON, MB - A Jim Bell six-point service-run put the Heat up 7-0 in the first set versus the No. 4 Brandon Bobcats on Saturday night in the Healthy Living Centre in Brandon and although the UBC Okanagan Heat men’s volleyball team would go on to win the first set 25-15, they would ultimately fall in four to the ranked host team 1-3 (25-15, 17-25, 15-25, 21-25).
The first set wasn’t all middle Jim Bell (2nd year, Surrey, BC), however. Right side Kyle Pankratz (3rd, year, Surrey, BC) had four of his nine kills in the first set and outside hitter Nate Speijer (5th year, Penticton, BC) had three of his game high 17 kills in the first, in which the Heat attacked at a .387 rate. Setter Kristof Schlagintweit (2nd year, Abbotsford, BC) had 31 assists, and had the UBC Okanagan offence humming at points in the match, finished the game with 31 assists.
For the game the Heat were successful on 23-percent of their attacks, but were betrayed at the net where they could only muster seven team blocks, as well as from the service line where they committed 13 service errors.
Coach Greg Poitras wasn’t worried about his team’s services errors and noted that they made less service errors tonight than yesterday (13-20) and he thought that the Heat “served tougher...made less serve errors” in tonight’s match.
Poitras thought his young team “played clean ball in set one and scored well.”
Playing the defending Canada West champs, a team that utilizes five players whose ages range from 22-25, and those five accounted for 110 of the 119 total attacks versus a relatively young UBC Okanagan team. With their experience, Poitras explained that his team’s “overall youth showed” as the Bobcats “made adjustments and taught us a lesson on execution,” after the first set.
Poitras didn’t chalk it all up to a difference in experience and notes that even with an older team they still have perform on the court, and Greg thought the Bobcats did that, saying “credit to them they executed well and stopped our offense, and [Brandon] transitioned really well.”
After dropping the first set, the ‘Cats re-grouped and took the following three sets, by scores of 25-17, 25-15, 25-21, to grab the four set win and send the UBC Okanagan Heat home with two straight losses.
One of the most experienced players, Brandon junior left-side, and a member of the New Zealand national team, Sam Tuivai made an impact in all areas of the game, recording 14 kills, 10 digs, three service aces, and six blocks. Roy Ching, Sam’s New Zealand teammate, also put up 14 kills to go along with eight digs, while Brendan White, out of Queensland, Australia, contributed 10 kills.
The win moves the Bobcats record to 4-2, while the Heat fall to 1-5. The Bobcats will now travel to Winnipeg next weekend to play the Manitoba Bisons. The Heat will travel Saskatoon to play the Saskatchewan Huskies this upcoming Friday and Saturday (Nov 15-16).
- with notes from Matt Packwood (Sports Information and Marketing Officer, Brandon University)