National #4 Heat start 2017 with a 3-0 loss on the road against #10 UBC rematch at 5 p.m. tomorrow in Vancouver.
Women's Volleyball (Canada West conference match)
Friday, January 6th, 2017
War Memorial Gymnasium, Vancouver, BC
FINAL 1 2 3 SCORE UBC Okanagan (8-3) 19 19 16 0 UBC (8-3) 25 25 25 3
VANCOUVER, BC - The Heat and the Thunderbirds picked up their Canada West schedule for 2017 at the War Memorial Stadium in Vancouver in a top-10 battle on Friday night.
For the first time in over three years, the UBC Okanagan Heat were beaten in straight sets. The UBC Thunderbirds knocked off the Heat 25-19, 25-19, 25-16 in the teams’ first match back after the winter break. The last time the Heat were swept in a match was against the University of Manitoba on January 31, 2014.
The keys in the Friday night match were consistency of attack and blocking. The UBCO side had four more attack chances than UBC, but the T-Birds put away 41 kills to the Heat’s 27. The hitting percentages were miles apart, as UBC hit .349 on the night, while the Heat were held to .089. Blocks were 10-5 in favour of the home team.
UBC’s Danielle Brisebois led all hitters in the match, putting away 15 kills with an impressive .560 hitting percentage. Juliana Kaufmanis and Maggie Li rounded out the top three attackers for the home side, earning eight and six kills respectively. For the Heat, Megan Festival finished with seven kills, and was followed by Aidan Lea and Shiobhan Fitzpatrick, who each earned six in the match. Festival also led all servers in the match with three aces, while UBC’s Alessandra Gentile managed an impressive 29 assists.
The first set saw UBC jump out to an early lead, going up 3-0 thanks to a pair of kills and a service ace. They would never give up that lead, and after the Heat had kept it close until 10-13, a five-point run by the T-Birds was the difference in the opening frame. The Okanagan visitors put together a five-point run of their own late in the set, taking the score from 14-24 to 19-24. The ‘Birds attack owned the set though, and the final seven points for UBC all came on kills, the last five consecutive by the hand of Brisebois.
The second saw the home side double their early lead, this time taking a 6-0 lead to start the set. The Heat were able to capitalize on serving mistakes and a spurt of strong hitting to pull within two, at 17-19, but attack errors of their own and a pair of kills from Kaufmanis combined to put the set out of reach for the Heat.
Brisebois took over early in the final frame, putting away five kills in the Thunderbirds’ first seven points to put them up 7-2. UBC was firmly in control throughout the set, and Brisebois finished it with eight of her 15 kills.
The Heat (8-3) and the Thunderbirds (8-3) will meet again tomorrow night, with first serve schedulef for 5 p.m. at UBC’s War Memorial Gymnasium.