Hosting the University of Alberta women's volleyball team in a final tune-up weekend, UBC Okanagan was able to win on both Friday and Saturday nights.
KELOWNA, BC – UBC Okanagan women's volleyball team prevails over the Alberta Pandas after a five set CIS exhibition match at the UBC Okanagan Gymnasium.
Those in attendance sat anxiously through the nail biting game against the Pandas, the set scores were 17-25, 25-21, 25-13, 21-25, and 15-13 for the Heat on Saturday, October 3rd.
The Heat claim a fifth set win over the U of A, with Kaitlynn Given (4th year, outside hitter, Kelowna, BC) powering out a kill for the final point of the match.
UBC Okanagan was led by both Brianna Beamish (5th year, outside hitter, Surrey, BC), with 14 kills on 46 total attack attempts (.196), and Given, who also had 14 kills on 33 swings (.212). Chandler Proch (5th year, setter, Kelowna, BC) was setter throughout the five sets finishing the night with a total of 44 assists and a service ace.
The Heat seemed to struggle finding their feet in the first two sets against the Pandas, losing set one (25-17) and taking the second (25-21) but the resilient home team picked up momentum in the latter end of the second set, winning the set on a big hit from Beamish. This momentum was carried through to the third set, where the Heat closed out the third with an unanswered five point streak.
Throughout the entire fourth set, the Heat trailed the Pandas. Despite late set heroics, the Heat could not overcome the deficit with U of A twice pulling out to a seven point lead at (15-8 and 21-14) eventually taking the fourth on a UBC Okanagan attack error.
Alberta, placing second at Nationals in the 2014-15 season, gave the Heat problems at the net in all five sets. The Pandas had a total of 13 blocks; leading the way for the visitors was Shauny Hogg (2nd year, middle, Calgary, AB) with seven blocks.
Coach Steve Manuel put in a mixture of experienced veteran players and underclassman on the court for the majority of tonight’s match, as did the Pandas. Erin Drew, (2nd, middle, Kelowna, BC) getting a start in the preseason, was a valuable presence at the net as she led the Heat with five blocks.
This was the second faceoff between the Heat and Pandas in the 2014-15 preseason. The first game was played last night, Friday October 2nd, which the Heat took 3-1. The set scores were as follows: 25-18, 25-18, 25-23, and 25-18.
In Friday night’s game, Megan Festival (4th, outside hitter, Calgary, AB) dominated the court with 22 kills, on 51 attempts (.255). The Pandas could not overcome the Heat’s aggressive play on the net from Festival and Brianna Beamish, who hit for .333 with four kills and also played an impressive defensive game leading the Heat in digs with a total of 15.
This match concludes the preseason for the Heat. The women’s team finishes their preseason undefeated at 6-0.
The Heat hope to continue their winning ways as the 2015-16 Canada West conference regular season, commences in two weeks. First match for UBC Okanagan will be their home opener when they host the Regina Cougars on Friday, October 16th, first serve at the UBC Okanagan gymnasium is at 6 p.m. The rematch will hit the court on Saturday (Oct. 17) at 5 p.m.
~ Rachel Parker // Heat Communications