UBC Okanagan women's volleyball win in three sets (25-18, 25-13, 25-18) to complete the sweep of MRU and lock down the best record of the regular season. Will host Canada West Championship March 4-5.
Women's Volleyball (Canada West conference match)
Saturday, February 20th, 2016
UBC Okanagan gymnasium, Kelowna, BC
SET SCORES 1 2 3 TEAM RECORDS Mount Royal......... (0) 18 13 18 11-13 UBC Okanagan........ (3) 25 25 25 22-2
KELOWNA, B.C. - The UBC Okanagan Heat defeated the Mount Royal University Cougars 3-0 on Saturday night in the UBC Okanagan gymnasium. With the win, UBC Okanagan lock up the first place spot in Canada West. Despite the loss, Mount Royal beat out Calgary for seventh place in the Canada West regular season, and with it the final berth in the Canada West playoffs.
Set scores: (25-18, 25-13, 25-18)
The Heat also had their annual Seniors Night on Saturday, recognizing the graduating student athletes who are leaving the team. Outside hitters Katelyn DeJong and Brianna Beamish, setter Chandler Proch, libero Kailin Jones, and middles Katy Klomps and Katie Wuttunee were honoured, as they are all finishing their fifth year of eligibility at UBC Okanagan. They constituted the Heat's starting line-up, along with fourth year outside hitter Megan Festival.
Chandler Proch was named the player of the match. The graduating setter had a match high 23 assists and led the Heat to hit .250 as a team, and she also spun an ace from the service line. Proch set up another graduating player, fifth year middle Katie Wuttunee for 11 kills on just 15 swings, good for a .667 attack rate. Wuttunee also added three blocks. Megan Festival and Brianna Beamish finished with nine and eight kills respectively, and the graduating Beamish led the match with 14 digs.
Kate DeJong, another fifth year student athlete, finished with four blocks, three kills, and six digs. Katy Klomps, also graduating, added four blocks, and fifth year libero Kailin Jones had 11 digs.
The lone graduate for the Cougars, setter Jenna Smith finished with 15 assists and four digs. Robyn Potolicki led MRU with nine kills and a .273 attack rate, Julia Kryzan attacked at a .800 clip, hitting on four of five kills, and she also spun a service ace, in just one set of action.
UBC Okanagan won the first set 25-18. Katie Wuttunee led the Heat in the set, with six kills (.857) and two total blocks. As a team the Heat had 15 kills (.273) in the opening frame, and Mount Royal had eight (.129). Middle Julia Kryzan led the Cougars offensively with four kills (.800) and a service ace.
UBC Okanagan took the second set 25-13. The Heat offence was led once again by Katie Wuttunee, who had three kills and two service aces in the set. The Heat had ten kills (.250) in the set, while the Cougars had seven (.000). Kylie Willis and Robyn Potolicki led the Mount Royal offence with two kills apiece in the second set.
UBC Okanagan won the third set 25-18.
As UBC Okanagan has now won the Canada West regular season championship, the Heat will play their next match on March 4, when they host the Canada West Final Four as the top seed. Mount Royal, having finished in seventh place in the Conference, will play their next match in the Canada West Quarter Finals on Friday, February 26. Their opponent will be the Canada West second place team, the University of Alberta Pandas.
Q&A with graduating Heat seniors Katelyn DeJong, Chandler Proch, Kailin Jones, Brianna Beamish, Katy Klomps, and Katie Wuttunee
Q: What are you feeling after your final regular season match with the Heat?
A: [Katelyn DeJong] I don’t think we can even actually put it into words right now, how awesome it is, for us and for our program. [Kailin Jones] It’s still a little bit surreal (unanimous agreement).
Q: Most Memorable Moments?
A: [Jones] For me, it’s that all six of us have gone through to the very end. It’s not very often that a team will have six graduating players. Usually people will drop out part way through. It’s really exciting that we all got to do the exact same thing together. [Chandler Proch] We’ve grown up together. [Katy Klomps] Year after year there were always big milestones that we hit, so it was kind of like every year there would be big, memorable things. So there’s lots of really big memories.
Q: Is winning the regular season championship, and getting to host the Canada West championship, one of the biggest moments?
A: [Katie Wuttunee] I think that I can answer for all of us when I say it probably is, but I think we still have our sights set further, so it’s hard to think of this as the final best thing that we’ve accomplished. I think that we’re gonna go further. [Brianna Beamish] Yeah, we’re not done. [DeJong] We’re gonna celebrate tonight, just like how far we’ve gone, and being such close teammates, but after tonight it’s just putting it behind us and looking forward, getting ready.”
Q: What is the biggest thing that you’ll take away from your time with the Heat?
A: [Proch] It’ll be just like, just recently it’s just kind of sinking in, that this is isn’t even just a team, it’s like a family. Just the fact that there are some things, like I didn’t know some high schools that they went to, but I know certain things about these girls that are just super personal, because we just know each other so well, and we’re so close, it’s just a really cool bond. [Jones] We got to see each other grow up. I mean, Wuttunee’s getting married! (As was announced on the ubcowvb Instagram account) We get to see one of our teammates get married! So that’s one of the biggest steps in her life, and we get to see it [Wuttunee] And be a part of it. [Jones] It’s pretty cool.
Q: Does winning the regular season title mean more knowing that you get to play in the championships at home?
A: [Everyone] Yeah, it’s huge . . . It means so much . . . We love playing here. [Jones] It also took some pressure off of tonight, knowing that we would play at home again. We were so emotional, but it would’ve been ten times worse if we knew we weren’t playing here again. [Proch] It’s different, like we’ve gone to the Final Four twice now, and it hasn’t worked in our favour, but it’s a different feel, hosting. The pressure, it’s not as high. It’s a nice, calm feeling and I think a lot of that comes from the six of us, and the consistency . . . we’re all on the same page. Sometimes teams struggle, whether it’s team leadership or whatever, but this team’s never struggled with that because everyone here is just a leader in their own way, and it’s definitely really really cool. [Jones] Finishing first is a confidence booster. And it’s good for Steve . . . [Everyone] Yeah, it’ll keep Steve (head coach Steve Manuel) happy. . . He’s holding it together pretty well . . . He’s been sick all week too. [Beamish] You should see it, there’s a picture of when he and Carl were shaking hands right after we won the match and clinched it, and there are just the biggest smiles I’ve seen in a long time. [Proch] Only the coaching staff, I’m guessing, knew that if we won last night in three that we’d clinch it, so it was just super emotional. [DeJong] Those two, Carl and Steve . . . man, we think we’ve gone through everything, but those two have had a life together with volleyball . . . It’s really cool, for players and coaches, the way that this program has developed. [Jones] We’ve also got to see Steve and all the other coaches develop as well. In Chand and I’s second year . . . Steve’s whole persona on the court was totally different. [Klomps] This whole team’s come a long way. [Beamish] We’ve all grown up. Matured, I think is a good word. [Everyone] We’ve all figured out CIS together.
Q: What does it mean to you to be officially considered the best team in the country?
A: [Beamish] I think it’s cool, but I think I can speak for all of us when that’s not, the CIS rankings especially, that’s not really what we care about. We want to be number one on March tenth, so, it’s a cool thing, and it’s great for the program and for publicity and for recruiting, but for us we want to be number one then. It’s a great feeling, but we’re not done. [Klomps] Yeah, it really doesn’t mean a whole lot right now. It just means that we’ve set ourselves up the best we can, but we’ve got a long ways to go still.
~ Grayson Leahy // Heat athletics