Kelowna, B.C. – Five matches remain, but the last Saturday conference match in Kelowna was the annual Seniors Night at UBC Okanagan. The No. 1 ranked women's volleyball team, the hometown Heat, dropped only their fifth set of 2018 but remained perfect in the second semester after taking out the University of Winnipeg in four sets.
After the Heat cleanly took sets one and two, the Wesmen showed some fight and put themselves back in the match by grabbing the third set off the home side.
The home team responded by going up 10 points quickly in the fourth, and taking their eighth straight victory. After clinching a postseason berth on Friday, the win on Saturday ensured that the Heat will host a Canada West Quarter-final. The opponent is yet to be determined but the match times for that best-of-three will be Friday, Feb 23 at 6 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 24 at 5 p.m., and if necessary on Sunday, Feb. 25 at 4 p.m.
First Set: (25-18)
Throughout the first half of the first set, the lower ranked Wesmen team managed to surprise the Heat and take the early lead. The Heat's indecisive play allowed the Wesmen to gain a small lead that continued until 16-16, as the Heat then found their stride and took over the back half of the set. With the Heat now playing at their normal pace, they continued through to the end of the set.
Second Set: (25-11)
In the second set the Heat continued with the energy they had gained from the first, which allowed them to put six points on the board from the get-go. The set continued in the same fashion, causing Winnipeg to use both of their time outs, one after an Erin Drew smash, and another after an Ann Richards service ace. The Wesmen were unable to play with the same finesse they had in the first, which led to another set win for the Heat.
Third Set: (25-16)
The Heat came into the third set looking for a quick win on their Seniors Night, but were stopped short by exceptional play from the young Wesmen squad. Winnipeg was able to go up by as much as eleven (21-10) and finished the set with a nine-point spread. Winnipeg hit .200 in the set compared to a flat .000 for UBCO. The Wesman spun three of their eight aces on the night in the third set.
Fourth Set: (25-17)
A quick turnaround of fortunes for UBCO in set number four, powered by an early Ann Richards service run, had the Heat up (6-2) early. An Erin Drew service run later in the fourth extended the Heat lead to 10 (20-10) before the teams traded points as the home team closed out the match. Aidan Lea had four kills in the set and two in the final three points to close out the victory, UBCO's 16th on the season.
- Michelle Jakszuk led her team to victory with extraordinary play, with 17.5 points, 14 kills, and a hitting percentage of .303.
- Aidan Lea gathered 14.5 points, 11 kills, and a hitting percentage of .273.
- Erin Drew had 14 points, 7 kills, and a percentage of .357.
- Kalena Schulz had the most successful game for the Wesmen at 16 points, 10 kills, and a hitting percentage of .200. She was followed by her teammates Jessica Friesen and Emma Parker, who had 13 and 10 points, 7 and 10 kills, and hitting percentages of .167 and .175, respectively.
By the Numbers:
- The Heat had the better statistics in most categories, as they had more attacks (140-136), more kills (53-35), a higher hitting percentage (.207 - .125), and more blocks (9-7). The Wesmen led with fewer attack errors, (18-24).
- The UBC Okanagan Heat (16-4) will play against the Thompson Rivers University (7-13) on Thursday night, with the first serve of the match beginning at 6 p.m. PST in the UBC Okanagan gym.
- The University of Winnipeg Wesmen (1-19) will play next against the University of Alberta (10-9), the two match sereies begins this Friday, February 9, in Winnipeg.
~ Cole Tweed, Heat Sports Information