The Heat women’s volleyball team earned their fourteenth win of the season with a second straight four set home-court victory over the Calgary Dinos.
Women's Volleyball (Canada West conference play)
|(2) UBC Okanagan
|UBC Okanagan (14-4)||25||25||20||25||3|
KELOWNA, BC - After a brief hiccup in the third set, UBC Okanagan Heat weathered the storm to beat the Calgary Dinos 3 sets to 1 (25-14, 25-14, 20-25, 25-21), culminating on a Brianna Beamish kill to close out the match.
With their tenth consecutive win the CIS No. 2 and first place in Canada West UBC Okanagan Heat improve their record to 14-4, while the CIS No. 6 University of Calgary drop to 10-8.
The first and second sets were won clinically for UBC Okanagan, scoring 25-14 in both and hitting .481 and .259 as a team in each set respectively.
U of C attacked .129 as a team in the first two sets, but scored much better in the third increasing their conversion rate to .344 on the team attack and tallying 14 kills on their way to winning the set 25-20.
“We played very solid those first two sets and then let our foot off the gas at the end of the third,” commented Heat head coach Steve Manuel. “We fought back - I thought we still had chances to win that third set but we let them off the hook a couple of times. Hats off to Calgary, they kept on coming over and over, there was no quit in them.”
The deciding fourth set saw Heat outside hitter Megan Festival (3rd year, Calgary, AB) go on an early service run to take the score from 2-2 to 9-2 for UBC Okanagan.
Dinos freshman Kate Pexman (Outside Hitter, Calgary, AB) went on a mini service run of her own in response to keep her team within striking distance, but the Dinos were never quite able to catch up to Heat again.
“It wasn’t the cleanest of games,” observed Heat middle Katy Klomps (4th year, Surrey, BC). “We kept up the fight and we tried to focus on being 2% better - 2% better on that next pass, 2% better on that next serve, and getting an extra point here and there.”
Klomps’ efforts did not go unnoticed, as she would go on to be named the Heat Player of the Game on Saturday night.
“We’re not just focusing on the outcome each night, but on the little things each game.”
“Our team is maturing,” added Manuel. “We have the ability now to put aside what has happened at any one point in the match and just play from thereon in. It’s something that doesn’t come easy to any team. It’s another step in our development, being able to have a short memory [and play on].”
Megan Festival led on Saturday night with 15 kills and 13 digs, while fourth year outside hitter Brianna Beamish (Surrey, BC) had 13 kills in total on the night, also contributing 5 digs. Libero Kailin Jones (4th year, Kelowna, BC) contributed 10 digs to the Heat defensive effort.
The Dinos’ Kate Pexman logged 11 kills for her squad, while her fellow freshman Beth Vinnell (Middle, Cochrane, AB) added 9 kills to the tally. Libero Amber Brown (5th year, Three Hills, AB) and outside hitter Ali Woolley (3rd year, Toronto, ON) both contributed 13 digs apiece on defense.
The Heat will try to keep the win streak alive this Thursday (Jan. 15) as they remain at home with a match against the Thompson Rivers WolfPack at 6 p.m. PST, while the Dinos return home to Calgary to take on the Winnipeg Wesmen on Friday (Jan. 16) at 6 p.m. MST at the Jack Simpson Gymnasium.