The No. 1 UBC Okanagan Heat ran the middle effectively to win a rare Thursday night Canada West conference matchup in four sets over MRU. Rematch is Friday at 4 p.m. (PST)
Women's Volleyball (Canada West conference play)
|(1) UBC Okanagan
|UBC Okanagan (17-4)||25||25||21||25||3|
|Mount Royal (4-17)||20||20||25||22||1|
CALGARY, AB – Katy Klomps and Katie Wuttunee were dominant in the UBC Okanagan Heat women's volleyball four set victory in Calgary over Mount Royal in a Thursday night Canada West conference matchup. Set scores were (25-21, 25-20, 21-25, 25-22) on Kenyon Court.
The Heat's two starting middles led the team with 16.5 points for Katy Klomps and 15.0 for Katie Wuttunee. Klomps finished tied for the most kills on the team with 11, on only 15 attempts for a .667 rate, she also had a solo block and five block assists. Wuttunee had two solo blocks and four block assists, put down 10 kills (.368) and added a service ace and three digs.
"The difference for us tonight was our middle attack and block, Katy [Klomps] and Katie [Wuttunee] were a force at the net," Heat head coach Steve Manuel understates as his team has now won an incredible 13 straight Canada West conference matches. With the streak UBC Okanagan's record improves to 17-4, still in top spot in Canada West.
The Heat have been paced by the strong play of their middles all year long and have led them to top rank in nation and an incredible 13 game winning streak.
Robyn Potolicki led the Cougars with 9 kills and 5 digs, with help from Fallon Middlemiss who had 8 kills and 6 digs.
The first set really picked up halfway through when UBC Okanagan Heat went on a six-point run with Emily Oxland on the serve after the technical time out. After that the Cougars just wilted in the first giving the set victory 25-20 to the Heat.
Playing with a comfortable lead for most of the second set UBC Okanagan allowed the Cougars to scramble back to 23-20, the closest they had been all set. At 24-20 the Heat’s Katie Wuttunee ended it all killing it right down the middle to take the set 25-20.
It looked like the Heat were going to take it all in the third set, but the Cougars came in ferociously in the third. Taylor Pelland hit a booming smash that was too much for the Heat to handle. The ball carried out of bounds, giving the Cougars the third set 25-21.
UBC Okanagan took an early lead in the fourth set and then stymied any Cougars comeback. Myrte Schön had the final dagger as the Heat defeated the Cougars 25-22 and took the match 3-1.
Schön, who has been battling injuries for much of her senior season, played her best match of the year to date. Coach Manuel was extremely pleased with his fifth year outside hitter saying she "came off the bench and was awesome." She was extremely efficient on offense with nine kills in 14 chances (.571). She also added a block and a pair of digs.
Calgary native Megan Festival enjoyed playing in front of family and friends, she tied for the team lead with 11 kills and had 7 digs on the night.
With the loss MRU falls to 4-17 in the Canada West standings. After the week off with their bye and now with their win UBC Okanangan improves to 17-4 and maintain first place in the Canada West standings.
"A good performance after having the week off, says Manuel post-game, adding that his squad was a bit rusty after the 12 day layoff but they are "happy to be back at it."
He won't have to wait so long to play again as MRU and UBC Okanagan will return tomorrow night back at Kenyon Court for their last battle of the series at 4 p.m. (PST)
~ With notes from Justin McCaffrey (Mount Royal Sports Information)