After 5 years, the roles are reversed. The No. 1 UBC Okanagan Heat women’s volleyball team look for their first-ever league play victory over rival, and No. 7 ranked, UBC Thunderbirds this weekend. Friday night first serve is at 6 p.m. and the rematch will hit the Okanagan hardwood at 5 p.m.
Game Times (PST)
Canada West conference matches
@ UBC Okanagan gymnasium, Kelowna, BC
|UBCO||TALE OF THE TAPE||UBC|
|56 (12)||Sets||56 (12)|
|10-0||3 set matches||7-2|
|4-0||4 set matches||4-2|
|1-1||5 set matches||1-0|
|12.95 (1)||Kills/set||12.89 (3)|
|.256||Hitting Pct.||.241 (3)|
|.074||Opp Hitting Pct.||.143|
|12.00 (2)||Assists/set||11.88 (3)|
|2.04 (7)||Aces/set||2.39 (1)|
|14.46 (1)||Digs/set||12.34 (12)|
|2.53 (2)||Blocks/set||2.13 (4)|
|33 (6)||Solo Blocks||39 (3)|
|217 (3)||Block Assists||167 (9)|
CIS National Ranking: No. 1 - tied
CanWest Standings: t-1st
Last week (Jan 15-16): 2-0 // (Fri W, 3-1) (Sat W, 3-2) vs. Alberta
Streak: Won 10
2014-15 Record: (27-9, 19-5) (T1st)
2015 CanWest Playoffs: 2-2 - 4th
2015 CIS Tournament: N/A
Last CanWest Title: N/A
Last CIS Title: N/A
KELOWNA, B.C: After taking care of business and dispatching the visiting Alberta Pandas two weekends ago, the UBC Okanagan women’s volleyball team return to the home court to play the UBC Thunderbirds.
Current Form: The Heat have been in swashbuckling form, having lost just a single game all season. This veteran unit with high season aspirations go into this weekends matches winners of their last 10 and now own a conference record of 15-1 which places UBCO atop the Canad West standings, tied for first with Trinity Western.
Home court: The Heat suffered their only loss of the year on their home court (Oct 31 - Winnipeg in five sets), they have won six games at home, including the clean sweep of defending champions Alberta just two weeks ago.
Key Players: In her fifth year libero Kailin Jones has continued her brilliant form in the conference and stands fifth in the with 197 digs. The two games on the weekend provide her with a terrific platform to top the charts as she trails the by 63 digs. Jones also stands third overall with 3.52 digs a set this season.
Effective points: Middle blocker Katie Wuttunee (.322) and teammate Brianna Beamish (.316) are first and third respectively in the conference in hitting percentage.
Serving it right: Setter Emily Oxland climbed to fifth spot overall as well in the conference with 9.13 service aces per set.
Team Stat – The Heat currently are the second best team in the country in kills per set at 12.95, tops in Canada West.
Overall Head to Head : The Thunderbirds have won all their regular seson conference games against the Heat (8-0). These two teams have met in each of the last two Canada West Final Fours, with UBC winning each time in four sets. UBCO finally broke through and bested their older campus rival this fall in an exhibition match in Edmonton in last September with the Heat winning in three straight sets.
Coach Steve Manuel on having a bye weekend at this time of year and giving his team the weekend off: "When our schedule came out in June, we designed our training plan accordingly. We went harder and longer over the Christmas break than we normally do, with the idea that we would take the full weekend off to rest and recover. So we did not contemplate practicing, we are sticking to the plan."
Manuel's thoughts on his matches with Alberta: "I liked the maturity and poise that I saw from our team. They fought through some adversity and found ways to get the job done. Winning that second match was a bonus win really, considering the way that Alberta played against us on Saturday. After the resilience we showed and the fight especially in the fourth and fifth sets, had we lost in the end it would have still be a victory in a lot of ways."
The T-Birds played Alberta last weekend. What did coach see on the tape: "As always, UBC is big and solid in every position. We need to play our style of volleyball well to beat them; hard work, tenacious defense, tough serving and just plain old finding ways to get it done."
Break on through. What are the coaches thought's on what role, if any, does Heat’s win over UBC back in September at MacEwan have heading into this weekend’s matches: "Simply that it’s been done once already this year and we can do it again. This current Heat squad is 1-0 against UBC’s current group."
#7 UBC THUNDERBIRDS (15-10, 12-4 Canada West)
CIS National Ranking: No. 7
CanWest Standings: 4TH
Last week (Jan 22-23): 1-1 // (Fri L, 3-0) (Sat W, 3-2) @ Alberta
Streak: Win 1
2014-15 CW Regular Season Record: 13-11
2014-15 CW Playoff Record: 4-3
2014-15 Overall Record: 20-18
Last CW Title/Total CW Titles: 2014 / 13
Last CIS Title/Total CIS Titles: 2013 / 10
UBC Thunderbirds: The Thunderbirds are currently ranked as the seventh best team in the country and are firmly entrenched in fourth place in the Canada West standings.
Current form: The Thunderbirds have won 12 games and lost four (12-4) in the league. The program has won 38 sets and lost 18 sets. This past weekend they travelled to Aberta and achieved a split with the Pandas. Their three other losses are to: Brandon twice and once to Mount Royal.
Key Players : Setter Alessandra Gentile occupies third spot overall and in the conference with 9.32 assists per set. Left side hitter Danielle Brisebois stands fourth overall in the conference with 3.63 kills per set. She did not suit up in the Brandon series for UBC.
Team Stat: The Thunderbirds are the hardest serving squad first in the conference at 2.39 aces per set. Brisebois (.52) and Laura MacTaggart (.50) are second and sixth respectively in the conference.
Number of new players: 5
Key Recruits (Name (POS/Hometown/Last Team)): Siobhan Finan (OH/Vancouver, B.C./Thunder Volleyball), Sarah Haysom (Mid/North Vancouver, B.C./BCO Volleyball), Anna Price (OH/North Vancouver, B.C./BCO Volleyball), Laura Worsley (Lib/Vancouver/Thunder Volleyball), Irem Eren (OH/Izmir, Turkey/Karşıyaka Spor Kulübü)
Number of departing players: 3
Key Losses (Name (POS/number of years with team)): Lisa Barclay (OH/5), Abbey Keeping (MB/5), Rosie Schlagintweit (OH/5)
Key performer: Danielle Brisebois (2014-15 Second Team Canada West All-Star, member of Canada’s Universiade Team)
Coach Quote: “I am very excited to start the new season and despite graduating key personnel, I feel that our team has the players that are ready to step up and play the key roles that will be needed to help us challenge the top teams in Canada West this year. With a lot of strong teams, we will have to continue to improve throughout the year, as we move along the road to the playoffs.” – UBC head coach Doug Reimer.
Key storyline: UBC will be trying to make the CIS women’s volleyball championship tournament for the 21st time in 22 years. The team has graduated three mainstays in Canadian national team member and former league and national MVP Lisa Barclay, former All-Canadian Rosie Schlagintweit and Canadian Universiade team member Abbey Keeping. Outside hitter Danielle Brisebois, a 2014-15 Canada West Second Team All-Star, leads the group of returning players, which also includes Juliana Kaufmanis and Alissa Coulter. Younger players such as Laura MacTaggart and Emily Cicon made an impact as they earned more playing time last season and will look to continue their improvement. The Thunderbirds also had a strong recruiting class with the addition of five players, four of which were stars in B.C., while another has joined the team from Turkey.