The always intense campus rivalry games will take place this weekend at the Okanagan campus of UBC. The Heat have had success versus the T-birds before and will be looking to upset the Vancouver campus their first chance to take down the ‘Birds is Friday (8 p.m.). They’ll ramp it up again on Saturday at 7 p.m.
Game Times (PST)
Canada West conference matches
@ UBC Okanagan gymnasium, Kelowna, BC
|UBCO||TALE OF THE TAPE||UBC|
|2-5||3 set matches||5-4|
|1-7||4 set matches||4-1|
|2-2||5 set matches||1-1|
|10.92 (11)||Kills/set||12.68 (4)|
|.204 (10)||Hitting Pct.||.248 (9)|
|.268||Opp Hitting Pct.||.191|
|10.40 (11)||Assists/set||11.60 (5)|
|0.87 (12)||Aces/set||1.05 (8)|
|9.79 (11)||Digs/set||10.32 (2)|
|2.21 (8)||Blocks/set||2.61 (2)|
|38 (4)||Solo Blocks||42 (1)|
|203 (8)||Block Assists||214 (6)|
CIS National Ranking: N/A
CanWest Standings: 11th
Last week (Jan 15-16): 0-2 // (Fri L, 3-1) (Sat L, 3-0) vs. Alberta
Streak: Lost 5
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
The Rivalry: The UBC Okanagan men’s volleyball team look forward to host the fifth placed UBC Thunderbirds this weekend. The Heat and T-birds took to the intra-campus rivalry as soon as UBC Okanagan was admitted to Canada West, in just the second weekend of regular season competition in October of 2011, the Heat hosted UBC and knocked down their Vancouver campus rival in four sets. Ever since that momentous upset these two squads have battled as rivals unlike any other.
Head to Head: (3-5) The Thunderbirds currently lead the Heat by two wins, with the Heat winning three and the Thunderbirds winning five. All three of UBCO’s wins have come at UBC Okanagan where they are 3-1 all time versus the T-Birds. UBC is 4-0 at War Memorial.
Current Form: The Heat were unsuccessful in their attempt to beat first placed and defending champions Alberta two week ago but will be looking to redeem themselves against the Thunderbirds. The Heat have not been at their optimal best, having managed to garner just six points from their 16 games so far with a record of 3-13 in the league.
Key Players (Youth is being served): Freshman libero Eli Risso has continued to fill in for injured fifth year Jeremey Fostvelt, the rookie is in fifth place overall and in the conference with 145 digs at 2.42 digs per set. Second year middle Adam Kern is having a strong sophomore season, he occupies fourth spot overall and in the conference with 1.09 blocks per set, he is attacking at a .317 rate and has scored 83.0 points in his time on the floor.
Team Stat – UBC Okanagan as a team is achieving the most success at the net, their fourth in solo blocks (38), seventh in total blocks (140), and eighth in blocks per set (2.21).
Heat coach Greg Poitras and his thoughts on his team versus Alberta: “U of A made similar errors to us in the those sets that we showed well via the score. We could not sustain our level of play versus the Bears. We tried a different lineup for the weekend which took some time as well. Bears are a big and polished and the only way you are really going to crack them is on serve. We showed we can win rallies against them when we got their passes off the net. The first night we were blocked too many times. Things changed the next night though.”
Poitras and his keys to the game vs UBCV: “We match up fairly evenly with them. They have shown a few lineup and some different tactics that we will have to track as the match goes on. We typically play UBC tough. They are a gritty team that makes a lot of noise and try to get in your head.”
#T6 UBC THUNDERBIRDS (13-11, 10-6 Canada West)
CIS National Ranking: No. 6-tied
CanWest Standings: 4TH
Last week (Jan 22-23): 0-2 // (Fri L, 3-0) (Sat L, 3-0) @ Alberta
Streak: 2 Losses
2014-15 CW Regular Season Record: 13-11
2014-15 CW Playoff Record: 2-2
2014-15 Overall Record: 19-15
Last CW Title/Total CW Titles:1983-84/5
Last CIS Title/Total CIS Titles: 1982-83/3
UBC Thunderbirds : The Thunderbirds lost both their games on the previous game week in Edmonton versus Alberta, they now travel to Kelowna this weekend. The unit from Vancouver trails fourth placed Winnipeg by two points and will look to get closer to the playoff spots.
Current Form: The Thunderbirds currently sit in fifth spot with 20 points from the 16 games they have played so far. The program holds a record of 10-6, winning 33 sets and lost 24 sets in the conference so far.
Key Players : Middle Hitter Alex Russell has been having an outstanding season for the Thunderbirds and occupies first place in the conference as well as overall in two categories ; a hitting percentage of .431 as well as 1.21 blocks per set. Left side hitter Irvan Brar occupies ninth spot in the conference as well as overall with 126 digs at 2.21 digs per set.
Team Stat – The Thunderbirds are in fourth position in the league with a total of 149 blocks so far.
Number of new players: 5
Key Recruits (Name/POS/Hometown/Last Team)): Zach Albert (Libero/Brampton, ON/Pakmen Volleyball Club), Cam Fennema (OH/Victoria, B.C./Camosun College), Jean-Benoit Gagne (OH/Quebec, Que./Limoilu Cegep), Henrik Hole (Setter/Oslo, Norway/Koll IL), Trenton Leisen (Libero/Edmonton, AB/NAVC)
Number of departing players: 4
Key Losses (Name (POS/number of years with team)): Ben Chow (OH/4), Quentin Schmidt (OH/3), Ian Perry (Libero/5), Chris Howe (Middle/3)
Key performers: Alex Russell (Middle/Surrey, B.C./Canadian National Junior Team), Milan Nikic (Setter/Calgary, Alta./Canadian National Junior Team), Mac McNicol (OH/Calgary, Alta./Team Alberta)
Coach Quote: “I expect us to be one of the top teams in Canada West, and I say that not only because of my expectations, but our players’ expectations. Even though we’ve lost four starters from last year, we feel that we’ve got some key pieces already in house, and then we’ve added some talented guys that are going to be able to help us achieve an even higher standard than what we did last year.” – UBC head coach Richard Schick
Key storyline: UBC will be undergoing a massive culture change, as they move forward without long-time starters Ben Chow, Quentin Schmidt, Ian Perry, and Chris Howe, who they lost to graduation ahead of the 2015-16 campaign. However, fifth-year seniors Alex Russell and Milan Nikic will be looked to for leadership alongside fourth-year player and 2014-15 Canada West Second Team All-Star Mac McNicol. The T-Birds, who will look to capture the program’s fourth CIS men’s national championship, feature five potential impact recruits, with four coming from separate provinces across Canada, and the last one coming from Norway. Two of last season’s first-year players, Byron Keturakis and Joel Regehr, will be looked at to make big strides this year, as the duo trained with and starred for the Canadian men’s national team, as they placed eighth at the U21 World Championships over the summer.