Women’s Volleyball (Canada West conference play)
UBC Okanagan Gymnasium, Kelowna, BC
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Kelowna, BC - Winners of now three-straight games and nine-straight sets, the seventh ranked UBC Okanagan Heat women’s volleyball team made quick work of the visiting Winnipeg Wesmen Friday evening in Kelowna to earn the 3-0 (25-20, 25-18, 25-19) victory.
The Heat were dominant in virtual every aspect of the game, out-hitting (.280 to .101), out-blocking (6-5), and out-digging (55-49) the Wesmen over the course of the three set match. While complacent to begin the match, the Heat would chip away at the 16-13 Wesmen lead in the first set, and once they found their legs at 18-18, they would not look back for the remainder of the game.
"We came out pretty tentative," commented Heat head coach Steve Manuel following the game. "But we settled in fairly quickly. They exploited our weaknesses early, but we settled in and adjusted and chipped away at their lead."
Player of the Game Katy Klomps (3rd year, Surrey, BC) was extremely effective on both offense and defense, tallying seven kills and five blocks assists for the Heat. Brianna Beamish (3rd year, Surrey, BC) would add a game-high 13 kills and 13 digs in support, while Megan Festival would add 10 kills of her own to balance the Heat attack.
As for Winnipeg, the Wesmen were led by Ozana Nikolic (3rd year, Croatia), who connected on a game-high 14 kills. Carleen Kruschel (5th year, Beausejour, MB) would add 10 kills in support, but behind Nikolic and Kruschel, only Hailey Buhler (2nd year, Winnipeg, MB) was able to muster five or more kills in the match.
When asked what has been the difference for his team over the nine straight set wins, Manuel was quick to deflect its importance.
"Every team is so close in this conference," stated Manuel. "It could easily go in the other direction with nine straight set losses. We just go in with the mentality of winning the next point each and every game."
With the win, the Heat ascend to 7-2, while the Wesmen fall 3-6.
Both teams will resume play tomorrow evening, with the first set scheduled for 5 p.m. from UBC's Okanagan campus gymnasium.
Heat Notes: The streak of nine-straight set wins is the longest streak in the Canada West era for the Heat. The Heat's closest streak came at the beginning of this season, in which the Heat were able to win 8 sets (6 versus Thompson Rivers and 2 to Mount Royal)