Head into winter break with eight game win streak and will sit atop Canada West standings with the five set (25-14, 25-19, 16-26, 22-25, 15-12) win on Saturday. Griffins take first set off UBC Okanagan since November 14th.
Women's Volleyball (Canada West conference play)
|(3) UBC Okanagan
|UBC Okanagan (12-4)||25||25||16||22||15||3|
KELOWNA, B.C. – The No. 3 UBC Okanagan Heat women’s volleyball team capped off a near-perfect November Saturday night when they outlasted the visiting MacEwan Griffins 3-2 in the final match before the winter break (25-14, 25-19, 16-26, 22-25, 15-12).
The Heat extend their match win streak to eight but see their set streak end at 15 with the Griffin’s took tonight’s second set. The fifth-set frame was also the Heat’s first since November 1st at the UBC Thunderbirds. They are now 2-2 in matches going the distance.
Sophomore Griffins outside Cassidy Kinsella (Leduc, AB) posted a match-high 18 kills (.260) alongside 17 digs. Fifth-year Porsha Diggs (Edmonton, AB), fourth-year Madison Porisky (St. Albert, AB) and third-year Megan Ewasuk (Edmonton, AB) also tallied kill totals in double digits with 11, 12, and 10, respectively.
Heat outside hitters Brianna Beamish (Surrey, BC) and Kaitlyn Given (Kelowna, BC) led the Heat with 15 and 13 kills, respectively. Serving specialist Megan Festival (Calgary, AB) ripped in five service aces while Kailin Jones led the match with 20 digs.
The evening started out where the two teams left off a night prior, with Heat fourth-years Chandler Proch (Kelowna, BC) and Katy Klomps (Surrey, BC) rising for a forceful block to force a timeout out of MacEwan’s bench 11-7. Klomps would finish the match with a monster two solo blocks and eight block assists. Officially warmed up out of the timeout, they would coast to a 25-14 first set decision.
The second set played out similarly, with the Heat blazing to a commanding 21-11 lead. Porisky (St. Albert, AB) would not let the Griffins go down easily, breaking a ten point lead with a kill from the right side, after which she proceeded to serve out two more points for MacEwan. A few plays later sophomore Jasey Hook (Edmonton, AB) would rip in two service aces to try and keep things interesting with a 23-18 lead, but ultimately the home team held off for a 25-19 second set win.
It would take until the third set for the Griffins to warm up themselves, holding a lead for the majority of the first half of the set, taking a 16-15 edge into the midway break. They would not relent, going on a 9-1 run to force a fourth and drop the Heat in their first set since November 14 versus Saskatchewan.
The Griffins held momentum and were out to a 7-2 lead to start the fourth, powered by MacEwan’s kill-leader in fifth-year outside Porsha Diggs (Edmonton, AB) who tallied five in that stretch. The rest of the fourth was likewise not easy for the Heat, who trailed all the way to a 25-22 MacEwan edge to force a fifth—the first match to the distance for the home team since November 1st at UBC.
“We got away from what we wanted to do,” said Heat coach Steve Manuel. “They made some adjustments and we were slow to react to it. They played great in that third and fourth set. We needed to play a bit better and we didn’t.”
A pair of service aces early by Festival gave the Heat some cushion in a 6-2 start, but the Griffins would lead 8-7 when the teams switched sides. Festival would keep the team on her shoulders, rattling off four kills down the stretch, including the game-winner.
UBC Okanagan improves to 12-14 heading into the break a mark that will be best in the conference heading into the winter break. Manuel says he was confident his team could be here: “We had a tough start, and we knew MacEwan would be tough,” the coach said. “We could just as easily be … 8-8 as 12-14. So we’re happy … but not surprised that we could be here.”
Meanwhile MacEwan falls to 5-9. The Heat are at home to open the second semester stretch versus Calgary January 9th at 6 p.m., while the Griffins wait until Saturday the 10th to host Thompson Rivers University.
The 12-4 mark for No.3 UBC Okanagan is be the best in the conference heading into the semester break, and Manuel says he was confident his team could be here Watch the action online from home and stream live stats at canadawest.tv