It took five sets Friday night in Kelowna, but for the first time in Canada West conference play UBC Okanagan bested the Calgary Dinos.
Men's Volleyball (Canada West conference play)
|UBC Okanagan (5-12)||26||16||21||25||15||3|
KELOWNA, BC – “It was a big monkey off our backs,” UBC Okanagan men’s volleyball head coach Greg Poitras was quick to say following his team’s victory on Friday night. “We just got it done in the fifth,” said the pleased coach.
In what was the seventh time facing the Calgary Dinos in Canada West conference play the Heat were finally able to topple their fossilized foe as the two teams went the distance. UBC Okanagan finally coming out on top as Calgary’s Keith West’s serve went out the back end of the court untouched for the Heat win. (26-24, 16-25, 21-25, 25-21, 15-12).
West, a second year outside hitter, was clearly the offensive force leading the Calgary charge, he put up a gaudy stat line of 23 kills, hitting at .298, led his team with 13 digs, and led with four aces from the service line.
Calgary amassed nine aces in total on the night, with five others tallying one each. Sean Tuff finished with 10 kills and a team leading four blocks. Calgary as a team managed 8.5 blocks in the five set match.
UBC Okanagan, however, played extremely well at the net with 17 blocks, Middle Leo Schober was outstanding, he was in on nine of those blocks; fellow middle, Joshua Harvey, collecting five of his own. Both middles were efficient on offense as well hitting at 50-percent, Schober with eight kills and Harvey with six.
Jim Bell was the offensive bell ringer for the winning squad he hit .375 with 20 kills and was in on six block as well.
After losing the tight first set (26-24) Calgary started to roll with their service game in sets two and three, consistently putting UBC Okanagan in tough places to score in spite of the strong net play of the Heat. Calgary won set two (25-16), and then taking advantage of UBC Okanagan’s own service woes to capture the third set (25-21).
Coming off the bench Tanner March, a Kelowna native who played for the Camosun Chargers the last three years, added a different dimension to the Heat, and his short service run in the fourth set brought UBC Okanagan back within one (10-11).
“Tanner was key by coming in and relieving pressure, really changed the outlook of the game,” says Poitras praising the play of his veteran and then considering the match further Poitras adds that is was a “Good team effort tonight. The entire team. We saw a lot of strong play from a lot of different guys.”
Jim Bell powered the offense with five kills in the fourth set to send the match to a fifth set after the Dinos’ Connor Frehlich’s attack was too strong score UBC Okanagan’s 25th point. 25-21 was the set score.
UBC Okanagan hit .571 in the fifth set with eight of their 15 points coming on kills to win the fifth 15-12.
With the win UBC Okanagan pulls to within one game of Calgary with a record of 5-12. Calgary’s 6-11 record is only three wins shy of a playoff spot so both squads will be keying on tomorrows rematch.
“It’ll be a grind tomorrow,” Poitras says about Saturday’s game that totaled five sets and nearly 2.5 hours of volleyball, “but it will be the same grind for both teams,” he surmises.
The rematch will once again follow the women’s match and is scheduled for a first serve of 7 p.m. at the UBC Okanagan gymnasium.
Watch online at canadawest.tv