No. 3 UBC Okanagan Heat win six straight sets in Regina, today (25-23, 25-20, 25-23), and have now won 20 of 24 sets in the month of November.
Women's Volleyball (Canada West conference play)
|(3) UBC Okanagan
|UBC Okanagan (10-4)||25||25||25||3|
REGINA, SK – The No. 3-ranked UBC Okanagan Heat took their second three-set win over the University of Regina in as many nights, beating the Cougars 25-23, 25-20, 25-23 in Canada West women’s volleyball action at the Centre for Kinesiology, Health & Sport.
Canada West hitting percentage leader Katie Wuttunee led UBC Okanagan with 12 kills on just 17 attacks, finishing the match with a .588 hitting percentage to help the Heat win their sixth consecutive match.
"It was a solid weekend for our team, not only in the outcome but we got a chance to really work on some fine tuning," says the most efficient attacker in Canada West converting 38.2-percent of her chances. "Tonight was a messy win but I think that it's beneficial to be able to win ugly. Our passing allowed us to run more on our offense than last night and that really opened up opportunities from both pins and the middle."
After being swept in three on Friday, the Cougars looked like a different squad in the opening set. They were hitting .541 as a team and led 16-11 at the technical timeout thanks in large part to six kills from Chelsea Ziolkowski, but the Heat rallied. The visitors put together an 11-4 rally to take a late one-point lead, then broke a 23-23 tie with a Kaitlynn Given kill and won the set on a hit by Ziolkowski that went long.
The Heat never trailed in the second set, breaking an early tie with a kill by Katy Klomps and a Megan Festival service ace and leading the rest of the way. The Cougars never trailed by more than five points and were within two for much of the set following the media timeout, but UBC Okanagan collected the final three points of the second to win it 25-20.
UBC Okanagan looked to be well on its way to an easy win in the third set as the Heat jumped out to leads of 20-8 and 23-12, but the Cougars rallied in a big way. With Ziolkowski serving, the U of R reeled off 10 straight points to get to within one before UBC Okanagan finally got a Brianna Beamish kill off a timeout to make it 24-22. Glynn got the next point for the Cougars, but UBC Okanagan clinched the match on a Regina attack error the next play.
Besides Wuttunee’s 12 kills, UBC Okanagan also had nine kills from Beamish and six from Given. Emily Oxland and Chandler Proch split the setting duties for the Heat, with Oxland ending up with 18 assists and Proch with 14. Libero Kailin Jones had a team-high seven digs for UBC Okanagan, while Klomps finished with six blocks – five of which came in the first set alone.
Ziolkowski had a brilliant game for the Cougars, finishing with 15 kills and a .500 hitting percentage while also collecting 10 digs for a double-double. Libero Lindsay Braul led all players with 12 digs, while Glynn finished with seven kills and Molly Wade-Cummings had six kills and a .462 hitting percentage.
UBC Okanagan will look to extend its winning streak next weekend with a pair of home matches against Canada West newcomer MacEwan, while the Cougars (3-9) close out the first half of the conference schedule on the road next Friday and Saturday at Brandon.
"One of our team's goals for this weekend was to improve at being stronger at the net, especially on 50/50 balls,” says the Heat’s leading point getter (3.7 per set) in Brianna Beamish following the win. “We worked hard on improving this aspect of our game during practice this week, so it was great to see it translate into our two matches. Overall, it was a great weekend and I think we are all excited to come back home and play our last home games of 2014."
The first meeting as Canada West foes between the Heat and the Griffins are scheduled for 6 p.m. on Friday at UBC Okanagan Gymnasium and the rematch, the last action prior to the December break for UBC Okanagan, will happen on Saturday, November 29, with first serve at 5 p.m.
- with notes from Braden Konschuh (Regina Sports Information)