The UBC Okanagan Heat men's volleyball team will be the underdog this weekend as they look to upset the #2 ranked Alberta Golden Bears (14-1) who have yet to lose a match in Canada West this season. They first chance to knock of the defending champs is Friday (8 p.m.). They'll do it again on Saturday at 7 p.m.
Game Times (PST)
Canada West conference matches
@ UBC Okanagan gymnasium, Kelowna, BC
|UBCO||TALE OF THE TAPE||ALB|
|11.07 (10)||Kills/set||14.72 (1)|
|.214 (10)||Hitting Pct.||.350 (1)|
|.263||Opp Hitting Pct.||.205|
|10.57 (10)||Assists/set||14.13 (2)|
|.86 (12)||Services Aces/set||1.52 (2)|
|8.88 (11)||Digs/set||9.41 (5)|
|2.33 (5)||Blocks/set||2.71 (2)|
CIS National Ranking: N/A
CanWest Standings: 11th
Last week: (Jan 8-9): 0-2 // (Fri L, 0-3) (Sat L, 0-3) @ Manitoba
Streak: Lost 3
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
This Week: The UBC Okanagan men’s volleyball team will be returning to their home court with a tough test on tap for the 3-11 squad. The Alberta Golden Bears are 14-0 in Canada West conference play this year and are well on pace for a third straight national championship.
Current Form: Last weekend Heat were unable to notch a win against the 12-2 Manitoba Bisons, the UBCO have managed six points from their 14 games so far and are eight points (4 wins) out of a playoff spot with four teams ahead of them in the standings.
Key Players : Libero Eli Risso stands fourth overall with 127 digs at 2.40 digs per set. Setter Kristof Schlaginweit stands seventh overall with 426 assists and fifth overall with 9.26 assists per set. Freshmen outside hitter Devon Cote is continuing to find his form. This past weekend he averaged 1.86 kills per set (13 kills in 7 sets), his best mark on the season. Over the holiday break he put down 13 kills twice in a match.
Team Stats – UBC Okanagan stands fifth in the conference with 497 digs. The Heat are 1-4 at home and 2-7 on the road this year. In wins the Heat average 1.36 aces per set, in losses the averages just .69 per set.
Overall Head to Head : (8-0 to Golden Bears) UBCO has never been able to topple the Golden Bears in conference play.
# 2 ALBERTA GOLDEN BEARS (21-4 / 14-0 Canada West)
CIS National Ranking: No. 2
CanWest Standings: 1ST
Last week: (Jan 8-9): 2-0 // (Fri w, 3-1) (Sat W, 3-1) @ TWU
Streak: Won 14
2014-15 CW Regular Season Record: 21-3
2014-15 CW Playoff Record: 2-0 record
2014-15 Overall Record: 34-6
Last CW Title/Total CW Titles: 2015/16
Last CIS Title/Total CIS Titles: 2015/8
The Alberta Golden Bears: The travelling Golden Bears are enjoying an unbeaten season, having won all their games this season. The away side will be looking to continue their exceptional form when they travel to Kelowna to play the Heat this weekend.
Current Form: The Golden Bears lead the table with 14 wins in 14 games, having not lost a conference match this season. The Bears swept through the post season last year winning all five of their matches taking 15 of 17 sets. It has been almost a calendar year since Alberta has lost a regular season match (Jan. 30/15 at Brandon).
Key Players: Left side hitter Riley Barnes currently occupies fourth position overall with 201 kills and third position overall with 4.37 kills per set and has reached a career milestone: as he spun his 1000th conference kill in Langley this past weekend. Setter Brett Walsh stands first overall with 570 assists at 12.39 assists per set and he now sits 4th in Canada West in career conference assists with 2,660, climbing 2 spots on the past weekend at Trinity Western.
Team Stat: The Golden Bears are a juggernaut and stand first in the nation in numerous vital categories: 14.72 kills/set, 650 assists, 14.13 assists/set, 201 block assists, 18.9 points per set. They also rank top five in: 677 kills (2nd), .350 hitting percentage (2nd), 70 service aces (2nd), 1.52 services aces/set (5th), 125 total blocks (5th), 2.71 blocks /set (4th), 871.5 points (2nd).
Coach reaching lofty heights: The Alberta head coach Terry Danyluk, now in his 23rd season, coached his 350th conference win last weekend and coached his 850th overall game (658-192). The long time coach has won over 75-percent of his games.
Number of new players: 5
Key Recruits (Name (POS/Hometown/Last Team) :
Carter Mcintyre – Left Side –Edmonton, AB - Strathcona Composite High School
Mason Fairless – Middle – Edmonton, AB - Strathcona Composite High School
Number of departing players: 3
Key Losses (Name (POS/number of years with team) : Kevin Proudfoot (Rightside/4), Ian Cooper (Setter/5), Cole Burkart (Rightside/1)
Key performer: Brett Walsh, Setter
Back-to-back CIS tournament all-star awards sets Walsh apart from the rest of the U of A squad. After another all-star caliber season in 2014 for the Bears, Walsh spent time training and competing with the Canadian national team in their friendlies against the Brazilian national team.
Coach Quote: “We have a good portion of last year’s team returning which gives us a good base to improve from. That being said, we still have work to do in order to give ourselves a chance to be playing on the last week of the season.”– Alberta head coach Terry Danyuk.
Key storyline: After winning consecutive CIS national titles for the second time in the past decade, the University of Alberta Golden Bears volleyball team will now set their sights on the programs first ever CIS three-peat. The Bears are coming off an incredibly strong season which saw them go 21-3 during the regular season, and undefeated in both the Canada West and CIS playoffs. Head coach Terry Danyluk will be entering his 23rd season with the program, and his teams have done nothing but win; seven national championships, 12 conference titles, and 22 consecutive CIS tournament appearances dating back to the 1992/93 season. Alberta opens the year at No. 2 in the CIS national rankings, and is prime for another title shot in 2015. With only three players from last year’s squad departing, the veteran lineup should be the heavy favourite to once again bring a championship back to Edmonton.