Four time defending champs to much for Heat

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Cary Mellon 

KELOWNA, B.C. – The UBC Thunderbirds women’s volleyball team took a hard fought victory 3-1 against the UBC Okanagan Heat this evening at UBC’s Okanagan campus. The Thunderbirds came out strong and the Heat were unable to beat their inter-school rivals, losing in just four sets (25-22, 25-17, 16-25, 25-15).

The Thunderbird women’s volleyball team stay undefeated so far this year, moving to 3-0, while the Heat fall to 1-2 on the young season.

Down two sets to none the Heat took the third set off of the veteran Thunderbird squad, but started the next set slowly. With UBC Okanagan down 15-4 in the fourth, the Heat started to come back and went on a 9-1 run, making it 16-13.

“That’s when, Kyla Richley (Outside Hitter, Roberts Creek, BC), their 24-year-old, fifth-year national team player stepped up and took over the match [with a 9-2 run of their own to close out the game]. They have that ability,” says Heat coach Steve Manuel.

The Heat took the third set after coach Manuel made a few lineup changes, starting three first year players in Kate DeJong (Outside Hitter, Calgary, AB), Brianna Beamish (Outside Hitter, Surrey, BC) and Katy Klomps (Middle, Surrey, BC). The young trio of players seemed to play well against the veteran Thunderbirds as they led UBC Okanagan to a 25-16 victory in the third.

“UBC [Vancouver] is a very good team,” comments Manuel. “They had a very good game plan and they executed it well against us. So making some changes in our lineup during the third set made them change what their game plan was. They had to look for different people to do different things. That made a huge difference.”

Heat rookie and outside hitter, Brianna Beamish led her team to their win in the third set and was an impact player by the end of the match, finishing the game with nine kills. Third year outside hitter Myrte Schön (Langley, BC) tallied seven kills while fellow third-year teammate Kendra Wayling (Middle, Castlegar, BC) contributed 13 digs tonight and was very efficient with her attacks – she compiled a .308 kill percentage.

The Thunderbird’s six-foot-two left-side hitter, Lisa Barclay (2nd year, Brandon, MB), smacked down 14 kills and helped lead her team to a victory tonight. Returning fourth-year Shanice Marcelle (Outside Hitter, Victoria, BC) played an impressive game and was second for the Thunderbirds with 13 kills and 14 digs.

“We need to come out tomorrow and play more like we deserve to be playing against this team, and I don’t think we did that today,” comments Manuel. “We came out and played timid most of the time and let them dictate the play. Our only adjustment will be in how we approach the game and take it to them a little bit more and make them work harder for it.”

The Heat will look to even up the season series when they meet again tomorrow, Saturday Nov. 5th. The game will start at 6 p.m. in the gym on UBC’s Okanagan campus. The game can be seen live at www.canadawest.tv.

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