Women's Volleyball (Canada West conference play)
UBC Okanagan Gymnasium, Kelowna, BC
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Kelowna, BC - In one of the most anticipated games of the Canada West women’s volleyball season, the first-ranked UBC Thunderbirds and the third-ranked UBC Okanagan Heat finally clashed, and although the Heat were able to take a set off the five-time defending national champions, the game ultimately resulted in a 3-1 (25-20, 25-15, 20-25, 25-18) victory for the visiting T-Birds Friday night in Kelowna.
"We showed our youth tonight," said Heat head coach Steve Manuel following the game. "Our lineup consists of a lot of second year players and it showed."
However, Manuel was quick to acknowledge the positives of the game, despite the result.
"We dug ourselves a huge hole in the first two sets, but we fought back and actually won the later portions of both those sets," added Manuel. "There were positives in this game to build upon for tomorrow."
What was billed as a very evenly-matched series played out exactly the opposite in the first meeting between both teams this season. UBC would jump out to an early advantage in both the first and second sets – 10-0 in the first set and 10-3 in the second set. However, UBC Okanagan would come close to eclipsing UBC in both sets, but ultimately, the deficit was too large to overcome. A third set victory, 25-20, gave the Heat life, and the fourth looked to be going the way of UBC Okanagan, but Lisa Barclay would settle her squad with three kills in the final eight points to give UBC the set 25-18 and the match 3-1.
Barclay would finish with 18 kills to lead the Thunderbirds, but the services of Rosie Schlagintweit proved to be the difference maker over the course of the game for UBC. Her lefty swing from all areas of the court, specifically from the back-row, gave the Heat fits, and Schlagintweit seemed to come up with a kill when UBC needed it the most over the four set match. She would finish the match with 15 kills and 11 digs.
For the Heat, Megan Festival (2nd year, Calgary, AB) led the attack with 10 kills, while chipping in 9 digs as well. Kaitlynn Given (2nd year, Kelowna, BC) and Katie Wuttunnee (3rd year, North Vancouver, BC) would add 7 kills each as well, but offense was tough to come by for the Heat on the night.
With the win, the UBC Thunderbirds remain undefeated at 13-0, while the Heat experience their first loss since November 9th, 2013, dropping to 10-3. The loss ends the Heat win streak at six games, as well as their unbeaten set streak at eighteen.
Both teams will resume the weekend series tomorrow evening from UBC’s Okanagan campus gymnasium, with the first set scheduled for 5 p.m. PST. Watch live on www.canadawest.tv