The Heat couldn't keep up the pace of their strong first set as they lost to the host MRU Cougars in four Thursday night (18-25, 25-22, 25-14, 27-25). Rematch Friday at 5:30 p.m. (PST).
Men's Volleyball (Canada West conference play)
|UBC Okanagan (6-15)||25||22||14||25||1|
|Mount Royal (10-11)||18||25||25||27||3|
CALGARY, AB – In spite of a dominant first set the Mount Royal Cougars defeated the UBC Okanagan Heat 3-1 (18-25, 25-22, 25-14, 27-25) on Thursday night at Kenyon Court in a Canada West conference men's volleyball match.
The Heat dominated the first set, leading 6-0, 13-3 and 17-5 at different points over the Cougars. The Heat allowed the Cougars a sniff of success when they managed a six point run, but that just wasn't enough. The set ended when a Cougars' strike landed out of bounds. UBC Okanagan won the first set 25-18.
The second started off slow, as neither team seemed to want to get out in front. Tied 12-12 the Heat allowed the Cougars to pull away, giving up small but devastating runs to play themselves out of the match. The Heat managed to stay close but the Cougars finally closed them out winning 25-22.
Early in the third set, the Cougars put together a strong 12-point run, to go up 14-4. Jordan Parkin finished off the third set with a spike right down main street giving the Cougars a 25-14 set win over UBC Okanagan.
The fourth set remained relatively quiet until the score was knotted at 17-17. The Heat went up 20-17 after an Alex Swiatlowski kill and had a chance to put MRU away and take the match to five however a series of exciting rallies went back and forth. Both teams showed heart, at 23-23 MRU's Tyler Schmidt made a phenomenal dig on a point that the Cougars eventually won. Mount Royal kept the momentum of that point and eventually finished off the Heat, winning the set 27-25.
"Credit to MRU for the fight they showed," UBC Okanagan coach Greg Poitras said in tipping his cap to the host team. "We missed an opportunity to extend the match being up 20-17 in set four," thought Poitras.
Jim Bell led UBC Okanagan with 14 kills and 6 digs on the night. His teammate Lars Bornemann had 9 kills and 8 digs in the four set match.
On a hot streak coming into this match Joshua Harvey, from Calgary community neighbour Cochrane, played well with eight blocks but only a pair of kills. In his last four conference matches prior to Thursday he was attacking at a .590 rate with 23 kills in 39 swings. Coach Poitras wasn't too worried about his middle's play saying that "Harvey didn't connect consistently but that might have been that he was matched up with a 7-foot 3 middle."
Grigor Kartev the seven footer finished the game with just a single block, but he did add five kills on the night. Jordan Parkin and Tyler Schmidt led the way with 18 and 15 kills respectively for the Cougars.
With the win Mount Royal improves to 10-11 and sit just one win out of a playoff spot. UBC Okanagan drops down to 6-12.
The Cougars and Heat will return to action tomorrow night back at Kenyon Court for the second game of their series at 6:30 pm (PST)
~ With notes from Justin McCaffrey (Mount Royal Sports Information)