A short week couldn’t cool off the suddenly hot UBC Okanagan men’s volleyball team who comeback and win in 5 sets over TRU. These two play again on Saturday night (7 p.m.) in Kelowna.
Men’s Volleyball (Canada West conference match)
Friday, November 26th, 2015
Warner Court at the Tournament Capital Centre, Kamloops, BC
SET SCORES 1 2 3 4 5 TEAM RECORDS UBC Okanagan........ (3) 18 27 22 25 15 3-8 Thompson Rivers..... (2) 25 25 25 22 10 3-8
KAMLOOPS, BC – A short week after a long trip to Brandon did not slow down the Heat in Kamloops on Thursday night. For the second straight road match the UBC Okanagan men’s volleyball team won their conference match, tonight it was against the WofPack, with another exciting come from behind five set victory.
Getting back from Brandon, MB late Sunday evening, where UBCO won in five sets after trailing (0-2), the Heat only had a few days to prepare for Thompson Rivers, who were more then rested going into the match at the Tournament Capital Centre, having just come off their bye week.
UBC Okanagan did not show any travel fatigue as they downed the host WolfPack on the Warner Rentals Court in the final TRU home match before the winter break (18-25,27-25,22-25,25-22,15-10).
With the win the Heat’s record draws even with TRU’s, both teams are now (3-8), and will close out the 2015 portion of the conference schedule with a final match on Saturday night (Nov. 28) in Kelowna. First serve will be at 7 p.m. on the UBC Okanagan gymnasium hardwood.
“This was a short turnover for us for sure,” said Heat coach Greg Poitras about his team returning from a road swing to Brandon, having two short practices and then playing to victory in this match. “We showed some character in the second set. We grinded it out in that set. They pushed, we pushed and winning that set gave us some confidence.”
After losing the first set (25-18) and allowing TRU to get to the technical timeout (16-13) in the second it was looking like the home team was going to walk away with the match. It was a TRU service error from their star player that seemed to turn things around, when Brad Gunter missed his serve (14-16) the Heat found life eventually drawing even at 19. TRU responded and looked to put UBCO away up 22-20 when Gunter was denied by the Okanagan block twice in a row, after the Heat were able to slow down Gunter they rallied and eventually took the set (27-25).
Brad Gunter was still the TRU player of the match, he had 22 kills in 44 chances with four service aces, 12 digs, one solo block and two block assists.
TRU got back on track and took the third set, but they had to hit extremely well to do so hitting .447 with 19 kills in the third. UBCO was running a smooth offense at that point as well with 18 kills of their own in the third (.421). The fourth and fifth sets the Heat continued to score at a high percentage, for the match they hit (.304), but in those last two sets they controlled the ‘Pack hitters to rate of (.036 and .143). The consistent offense and the UBCO (13-7) block advantage made the difference in the five set match.
Leo Schober was the main cog at the net, he finished with eight blocks in the match for UBCO and the Heat had three players in double figures for kills led by Lars Bornemann with 18 in 37 (.405) attempts. He had a service ace, five digs and a block assist. Kyle Pankratz was 17 for 30 (.250) with five digs, a service ace, a solo block and two block assists. Alex Swiatlowski had 15 kills in 34 (.265) swings with five digs and six block assists. Schober had five kills on eight swings (.400), while Kristof Schlagintweit had 53 assists, seven digs and three block assists.
Daniel Eikland Rod added 16 kills in 33 chances with a service ace, and nine digs for the home team. Brandon Hewwing had 13 kills in 28 opportunities with nine digs and two block assists. Graham Stoliker added 54 assists and seven digs with a block assist.
Poitras said the victory Thursday adds another chapter to this storied rivalry. “They have a few Kelowna guys on their team and a lot of these guys are familiar from playing Team BC together. They like playing against each other. There is that and obviously I have a relationship with Pat: he is my former coach from UBC. We are two hours away. We want to win these matches and that’s what makes it exciting.”
“The second set will haunt some guys,” stated WolfPack head coach Pat Hennelly. “We won the first and seemed to have lots of momentum. We had the lead there (in the second). We just can’t finish. I don’t understand it. For guys who train as hard as we do, don’t take the initiative. This team (UBCO) has been on the road for five straight games. We have been home for over a week. We seemed like the team with a lack of energy. We were the team which didn’t talk and take initiative. It is so obvious that when we don’t talk, we don’t do well. It is certainly broken right now. It is unfortunate. This was a must win game. Our season hangs on Saturday. We need to win to save our season.”
~ With notes from Larry Read // Thompson Rivers communications