The Winnipeg Wesmen win their first of the year after taking down the No. 1 ranked UBC Okanagan women’s volleyball on their home court with a five set comeback win.
Women’s Volleyball (Canada West conference match)
Saturday, October 31st, 2015
UBC Okanagan Gymnasium, Kelowna, BC
SET SCORES 1 2 3 4 5 TEAM RECORDS Winnipeg............ (3) 8 15 25 25 15 (1‐5) UBC Okanagan........ (2) 25 25 23 23 11 (5‐1)
KELOWNA, BC – The UBC Okanagan women’s volleyball team drop their first game of the season in a five set thriller to the Winnipeg Wesmen on Halloween. The Heat were unable to put away the Wesmen after winning the first two sets, Winnipeg played the part of the zombie on Saturday at the UBC Okanagan gymnasium refusing to die and coming back to win the final three sets, (8-25, 15-25, 25-23, 25-23, 15-11).
The Heat’s perfect record has been compromised as the visiting Wesmen snag their first win of the regular season. The Wesmen are now 1-5 and with the loss the Heat’s record tumbles to 5-1.
Instead of a zombie, Winnipeg’s outstanding outside hitter, Ozana Nikolic, could best be described as a cyborg on Saturday, the fourth year outside hitter finished the match with 22 kills, after taking a staggering 77 swings for an (.154) kill percentage. In Friday’s match UBC Okanagan limited the powerhouse to a season low 114 kills and a (.028) attack rate.
The Heat took the first two sets handily (25-8, 25-15), before Winnipeg turned the match around.
In the third, the Wesmen found their offense. Quickly in the third the Wesmen jumped out to a 7-2 edge against the Heat. UBC Okanagan rallied against this quick attack, with a five point scoring streak. After that point the score was not separated by more than three points until the Wesmen put away the set (25-23) with a Kill by Karissa Kuhr. In the Friday night match the Wesmen really extended in the third in an attempt to capture a set from the home team, but were unsuccessful. On Saturday their fortunes were reversed as they captured the third set from the No.1 ranked Heat.
The fourth set was up for either team to take as the Heat and Wesmen battled to take the lead, and remained with a two point differential for the duration of the set. UBC Okanagan not wanting to go to a fifth set and Winnipeg desperate for a win and a fifth set made for an exciting fourth, the set was filled with exciting rallies and big kills from both sides of the net. The Heat were able to capture a three point lead with Katie Wuttunee serving an ace putting (21-18) and looked to have the match in hand. The Wesmen put on their zombie costume and rose again. Winnipeg pushed back at this lead with three major kills and a UBCO error to tie the game at 22-22. Winnipeg took advantage of the staggering UBC Okanagan team and grabbed three of the next four points to send the match to a fifth.
The deciding set started with a three point scoring streak by the Kelowna squad, as they appeared to have regained their form. A Wesmen timeout rallied the visitors and they immediately span for a six point scoring streak. With the lead in hand Winnipeg never really were threatened again, they closed the match out on a kill by Mackenzie Jeffrey finished the set 15-11 for Winnipeg.
The Heat dominated the first set leading 6-1, 15-5, and 23-6 at different points over the Wesmen. The first four of their seven points to start the match off came from kills from Kaitlynn Given and Siobhan Fitzpatrick. Later in the set Emily Oxland served two aces and served UBC Okanagan on a six point run that nearly closed out the set. After giving up the serve at 23-7 Oxland would assist Given on a kill the end the first just two plays later in the 25-8 loss for the visiting Wesmen.
Similar to the first, in the second the Heat effectively put away points with kills. UBC Okanagan led for the duration of the set and at points went ahead 7-3, 16-9, and 22-11. Fifth year Brianna Beamish put away two aces late in the set and first year Katinka Krahn put in some minutes and assisted her team in the quick win. Brianna Beamish finished the set with a kill giving them the 25-15 win.
Beamish led the Heat’s offense with 15 kills and 13 digs giving her a double double. Kaitlynn Given finished nine kills and seven digs. Fifth year middle Katie Wuttunee provided the Heat with eight kills. Erin Drew and Michelle Jakzsuk finished with six kills each and Kailin Jones finished the match with a high of 25 digs.
On top of Nikolic huge night, she had 22 kills and 13 digs giving her a double double. Tia Boroski took the second most swings for Winnipeg and finished with seven kills and 14 digs and Mackenzie Jeffrey aided in the Wesmen win with nine kills and four digs.
UBC Okanagan won’t be able to wash the taste of their first defeat out quickly as they are headed to their bye weekend and will be back on the court Nov 13-14 in Calgary to play the Dinos.
Winnipeg will look to build on their win and start a streak next weekend when they host the Thompson Rivers WolfPack this Friday and Saturday (Nov 6-7).