The Heat men couldn’t overcome the Bears’ attack on Saturday night as Alberta earn weekend sweep.
Men's Volleyball (Canada West conference match)
Saturday, February 11th, 2017
Saville Community Sports Centre, Edmonton, Alberta
FINAL 1 2 3 SCORE UBC Okanagan (5-15) 17 21 14 0 Alberta (17-3) 25 25 25 3
EDMONTON, AB - The UBC Okanagan Heat men’s volleyball team were beaten 3-0 by the University of Alberta Golden Bears on Saturday night in Edmonton’s Saville Community Sports Centre. Set scores were 25-17, 25-21, and 25-14.
The Golden Bears’ hitting was far more consistent in the match, and that made all the difference. In two of the three sets Alberta held the UBC Okanagan hitters to a negative attack percentage, and the Heat weren’t able to put up double-digits in kills in any set.
Kills on the night were 41-22 in favour of Alberta, who also finished with the better hitting percentage, .321 - .013. Total blocks were 9.5 – 4.5 for U of A, and the Bears had a slight edge in digs, 28-26.
Alberta’s Ryan Nickifor had the best individual hitting night, putting away a match-high 12 kills on .360 hitting. Taryq Sani also finished in double digits for the Bears, with 10 kills. Brett Walsh had a match-high 34 assists.
UBC Okanagan were led by Lars Bornemann, who had eight kills, and behind him was Devon Cote with six. Eli Risso finished with a match-high 12 digs.
The first set saw Alberta earn 13 kills on .385 hitting while holding the Heat to eight on .115. The set was decided by the Bears’ ability to score consecutive points while not allowing the Heat to do so. A four-point run after the technical time-out put Alberta up 20-13, and a pair of Heat errors provided the final two points to make it 25-17 for the home team.
The second set was the closest of the match in score, although Alberta outhit UBCO, leading in kills (12-7) and in attack percentage (.192 - -.045). The Heat had the lead early on, and fought off a number of ties to go up 13-10. At the technical time-out the Bears took a 16-14 lead after a four-point run. From then on they allowed the Heat to score consecutive points just once before Taryq Sani put away one of his kills for the final point to close it out 25-21.
The third and final set was the most lopsided, with Alberta taking it by 11 points, 25-14. Kills were 16-7 and hitting percentages were .375 - -.033. A four-point run early on gave the Bears a 9-4 lead, and seven consecutive points around the technical time-out put them up 18-8. Kills from Alex Swiatlowski, Kyle Hinchey, and Devon Cote provided the late points for the Heat, but back-to-back kills from Kevin Proudfoot gave Alberta their final two points and the victory.
The UBC Okanagan Heat (5-15) will play their next matches in a home-and-home series against the Thompson Rivers WolfPack (2-18) on Thursday, February 16 and Saturday, February 18. The University of Alberta Golden Bears (17-3) will play next in Vancouver against the UBC Thunderbirds (14-6) on Friday, February 17 and Saturday, February 18.
~ Grayson Leahy, UBC Okanagan