Men’s Volleyball (Canada West conference play)
Jack Simpson Gymnasium, Calgary, AB
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Calgary, AB - The deal was all but sealed Saturday evening for the Heat men's volleyball team, but an inability to close out the Dinos in the third set allowed Calgary to win the final three sets in a come-from-behind victory 3-2 (24-26, 22-25, 26-24, 25-18, 15-13) from Jack Simpson Gymnasium.
The Heat were dominant over the first two sets, due in large part to strong offensive production from Nate Speijer (5th year, Penticton, BC) and Kyle Pankratz (3rd year, Surrey, BC). The Heat and Dinos continued to battle throughout the third set, but the Heat would be first to reach the technical timeout, 16-14.
Greg Mann and Co. were not to be outdone, however, as Calgary stormed back with two well-placed tips to tie the game at 16-16. Both teams would exchange points down the stretch, but the Heat would grab the 24-23 lead. An Ivan Kartev kill, followed by a Connor Frehlich ace, would see the set slip away from the Heat. Ultimately, it proved to be the difference in the match, as the Heat were unable to slow Mann and the Dinos.
"Definitely not the result we were looking for tonight," commented Heat head coach Greg Poitras after the game. "We stayed with the Dino's all match but a couple poor executions at very key times cost us the win."
Greg Mann would finish the match with 24 kills for the Dinos, but more importantly, the majority of his kills came at crucial junctures in the match for Calgary. It seemed as if every time the Dinos needed a point, Mann would provide the necessary offense.
For the Heat, Nate Speijer (5th year, Penticton, BC) scored a game-high 31 kills, while Kyle Pankratz had 10 of his own in the loss. As a team, the Heat out-hit (.269 - .260) and out-dug (47-44) Calgary, and were only out-blocked by one (17-16). However, the Dinos made the plays when they mattered most, which proved to be the difference in this contest.
"The stats will show in our favour, but when the pressure was high, Calgary played cleaner ball," finished Poitras.
The loss drops the Heat to 2-9, while Calgary moves over .500 at 6-5.
The grudge match will come tomorrow from the Jack in an afternoon affair scheduled for 1:30 p.m. PST.