A tough match awaits the UBC Okanagan men's volleyball team early in 2016 as they start on the road against a national contender in the No. 3 Manitoba Bisons. They play the first match of the day both Friday and Saturday in Winnipeg, first serve is at 4 p.m. (PST) on Friday and 1 p.m. (PST) on Saturday.
Game Times (PST)
Canada West conference matches
@ Investors Group Athletic Centre, Winnipeg
|UBCO||TALE OF THE TAPE||MAN|
|11.33 (10)||Kills/set||13.09 (2)|
|.222 (10)||Hitting Pct.||.306 (3)|
|.222||Opp Hitting Pct.||.228|
|10.80 (9)||Assists/set||12.48 (2)|
|.94 (11)||Services Aces/set||.91 (13)|
|9.10 (7)||Digs/set||9.45 (4)|
|2.38 (4)||Blocks/set||2.40 (3)|
CIS National Ranking: N/A
CanWest Standings: 11th
Last week: (Nov 26-28): 1-1 (Thu, at TRU W, 3-2) (Sat at UBCO L, 3-1)
Streak: Lost 1
2014-15 Record: (7-24, 6-18) (11th)
2015 CanWest Playoffs: N/A
2015 CIS Tournament: N/A
Last CanWest Title: N/A
Last CIS Title: N/A
KELOWNA, B.C: The UBC Okanagan men’s volleyball team will be on the road for their first set of games after the mid-season break. The Heat will be playing the first game on Friday, 8th January, at the Investor’s Group Athletic Centre with the game set to begin at 4 p.m. The second game will be played at the same venue on Saturday, 9th January with the game scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. Time listed in PST.
Over the Break: The Heat played three matches in two days at the WolfPack tournament in Kamloops, aster losing to Calgary on December 29th in four sets the Heat defeated both RMC and TRU in straight sets on the 30th.
Current Form: The Heat currently stand in 11th place in the standings with six points from 12 games. The team will be in the attempt to better their performance and improve their chances of qualification for the playoffs. The side has won 17 sets and lost 32 sets so far.
Key Players : Outside hitter Lars Bonnerman continued his outstanding form in front of the net and has now recorded 169 kills, standing in fifth place in Canada West. Middle blocker Alan Kern, is thriving with his increase in floor time and has climbed to second spot with 1.20 blocks per set.
Team Stat: The Heat stand in sixth place with 555 kills this season.
Overall Head to Head : (0-8, 0-2) The Heat have never defeated the Bisons, the Manitoba team has won every Canada West conference match and also dropped the Heat in two straight in UBC Okanagan's only trip to the post season (2011-12).
# 3 MANITOBA BISONS (16-3 / 10-2 Canada West)
CIS National Ranking: No. 3
CanWest Standings: 2nd
Last week: (Nov 27-28): 2-0 (Fri W, 3-0) (Sat W, 3-2) @ Reg
Streak: Won 2
2014-15 CW Regular Season Record: 14-10
2014-15 CW Playoff Record: 0-2 record
2014-15 Overall Record: 20-17
Last CW Title/Total CW Titles: 2002-03/1
Last CIS Title/Total CIS Titles: 2002-03/10
The Bisons: The #3 Bison men's volleyball team (10-2) is in second place and only four points back of #2 Alberta Golden Bears. Manitoba has won two matches in a row and face the Heat who have a 3-9 record and sits in 11th place in the 13 team conference standings.
Current Form : The Bisons are on a two game winning streak and stand in second place, four points adrift of the top. The team has been in brilliant form for the first half of the season and will be in the attempt to continue the same for the second half as well.
Key Players : Senior player Devron Dear stands in fifth position with 3.94 digs per set in Canada West. Server Luke Herr stands in first place in Canada West with 479 assists. The Bison men's team is third in hitting percentage at .306, second in assists at 12.48 per set, second in conference kills at 13.09, third in blocks at 2.40 per set, 13th in service aces at 0.91 and fourth in conference digs at 9.45. Individually, Devren Dear is fifth and Adam DeJonckheere is 11th in kills per set at 3.94 and 3.48 plus in conference points, DeJonckheere is ninth with 175.5 and Dear in 13th at 160.0. DeJonckheere is sixth in Canada West in hitting percentage at .326. Luke Herr is second in Canada West with 10.89 assists per set plus 12th with 1.98 digs per set. Josh Crellin is sixth in blocks per set at 1.00.
Number of new players: 5
Key Recruits (Name, POS, Hometown, Last Team): Josh Goossen (LS, Winnipeg, MB, Columbia Bible College), Scott Vercaigne (LS, Winnipeg, MB, Brandon University)
Number of departing players: 2
Key performer: Ken Rooney, M, 4th-year
Rooney is a captain for a third consecutive season with Manitoba. Rooney enters his fourth year with the Bisons after being selected as 2014-15 CIS men’s volleyball Second Team All-Canadian and 2014-15 Canada West men’s volleyball First Team All-Star. In the 2014-15 season with the Bisons, the Winnipeg native was second in CIS and Canada West in total blocks at 1.29 per set (overall total was 121) plus finished 18th in conference points (tied for 21st in CIS) at 291.0 points while 24th in Canada West kills (tied for 31st in CIS) at 205. The 6’8”, 220 lbs. player was 2012-13 Canada West Rookie of the Year plus CIS All-Rookie Team.
Coach Quote: Garth Pischke, in his 34th season at the helm and the winningest head coach in North American men’s volleyball believes a realistic goal for this team is reaching CIS nationals. Pischke commented, “A key this season is more depth at all positions and added strength on defence as the team should be in the Top 3 while also stronger on offence and passing.”
Is this the year?
The Bison men’s volleyball team returns their core group back after suffering a sudden loss in the first round of the playoffs at home against UBC in the 2014-15 season.
There is not one fifth-year player at Manitoba this year and the starting group consists of veterans heading into their third and fourth seasons.
The returning players are highlighted by several veterans which include middle player and co-captain Ken Rooney (2014-15 CIS men’s volleyball Second Team All-Canadian and 2014-15 Canada West men’s volleyball First Team All-Star plus 2012-13 Canada West Rookie of the Year), left side and co-captain Adam DeJonckheere (2013-14 CIS and Canada West All-Rookie Team) plus left-side and co-captain Kevin Falconer. In addition, setter Luke Herr, middle Josh Crellin, right side Devren Dear and libero Alex Strachan are all back and six of the seven starters are just in their fourth year while DeJonckheere only starts his third year.
The new additions of left side hitter Josh Goossen (a former Bison) and left side hitter Scott Vercaigne are a couple of the strong players battling for starting minutes and will push the returning players. There has been an increase in competition at practice as the level has been raised with the newcomers adding the needed depth to complement the returning veterans.
The Bisons had a strong pre-season where they lost only one match and are poised to be one of the conference's top teams this season.