Men’s volleyball notches first home win and third straight victory following four set ouster of MacEwan (19-25, 25-16, 25-19, 25-16). Schober wins Player of the Game Honours as team tallies eight service aces.
Men's Volleyball (Canada West conference play)
|UBC Okanagan (3-12)||19||25||25||25||3|
KELOWNA, B.C. – A hot hand from the service line that included eight service aces propelled the home cooking UBC Okanagan Heat to their first win in their gym this season over the visiting MacEwan Griffins Friday night 3-1 to keep the team from Edmonton in search of their first W (19-25, 25-16, 25-19, 25-16).
The Griffins flew straight to a 10-7 edge to open the first set and forced a timeout out of Heat coach Greg Poitras. Errors marred the score sheet in the first set for the Heat, who tallied seven attack and five service errors as the Griffins grabbed hold of a 25-19 first set win, their seventh set win of the season.
The Heat wasted no time in second set to finally get things going, hopping out to a quick 10-5 start following a scorching kill torqued in by second-year outside Lars Bronemann (Victoria, BC) down the middle that got his team going. UBC Okanagan would outplay the Griffins the rest of the way for a 25-16 second set final.
A neck-and-neck third set would see the Heat edge out to a 16-15 lead into the mid set break. Third-year middle Leo Schober (Kelowna, BC) was the instigator here, but again it was Bornemann who would take the reins and guide the Heat to victory, piling up two more kills and three straight service aces down the stretch of the set en route to a comfortable 25-19 third set result.
Unfortunately for the visitors, once the home team caught fire they would not be quelled and the win up for grabs would not go to the winless Griffins but instead the Okanagan squad 3-1 following a fiery 25-16 fourth set clincher.
Despite a strong performance from the service line from the Heat, Poitras would credit his team’s improvement on service reception being one of the largest difference makers in extending their win streak to three. “We didn’t know what to expect out of MacEwan,” Poitras began, “we cleaned up some of our offense [this week in practice], we had much better passing on the receive, so that enabled our middles to get going … which made things a lot nicer for our offense.”
Although Bornemann dominated a few bright spots throughout the night, it was Schober who played the steady hand throughout en route to Player of the Game Honours. Bornemann led with a match-high 15 kills and three service aces, but Schober turned in a highly efficient 11 kills with only a single error (.588) alongside a strong defensive performance in a match-high six block assists.
Heat setter Kristof Schlagintweit (Abbotsford, BC) led with 43 assists to go alongside a match-high nine digs, tied with teammate Alex Swiatlowski (Victoria, BC), who also added eight kills and 2.0 blocks.
On the other side of the net it was Brady Atwood (Jaffray, BC) and Damon Holmen (Taber, AB) putting in the yeoman’s effort, combining for 25 kills in the defeat. MacEwan put up nearly identical blocking stats in the end with an even line of 14 block assists with the Heat.
Inefficient attack would ultimately doom the visitors, who amounted only a .130 hitting percentage for the match, modified greatly by poor second and fourth set performances. To their credit, the Griffins held the Heat to a low .042 rate in their first set win and despite a blowout final set they kept the home squad to only .143 in that frame.
Both teams will face each other in a rematch tomorrow night at 7 p.m. in the UBC Okanagan gymnasium to close out 2014 and head into the winter break.
To close out the Griffins tomorrow, Schober thinks the Heat will need to find similar fire from the line. “Our biggest thing is [to keep] serving tough on them,” he said. “If we can isolate just their outsides and not their middles, it helps a lot when you’re blocking in the middle, and it helps on defense to get those runs.”
Watch the action online from home and stream live stats at canadawest.tv.