Heat take to the road to play No. 5 Manitoba

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ubc heat

Cary Mellon

KELOWNA, B.C. – The women’s team has had the unfortunate luck of playing some of the top teams in the nation right at the beginning of their schedule, after splitting with the Wesman in week one and then in week two falling twice to the Thunderbirds, UBC Okanagan’s season record now sits at (1-3). For the Heat it doesn’t get any easier as they fly into Winnipeg to play the No. 5 University of Manitoba Bisons. They will play both Friday and Saturday nights at 4 p.m. PST at the Investors Group Athletic Centre.

GAME TIMES

Friday, November 11 – UBC Okanagan Heat at No. 5 University of Manitoba Bisons (4 p.m. PST in the Investors Group Athletic Centre, Winnipeg)

Saturday, November 12 – UBC Okanagan Heat at No. 5 University of Manitoba Bisons (4 p.m. PST in the Investors Group Athletic Centre, Winnipeg)

Both games will be streamed with live video: www.canadawest.tv

HEAT (1-3)

CIS National Ranking: N/A

CanWest Standings: 8th – tied

Last Week: 0-2; Fri 3-1 loss to UBC, Sat 3-0 loss to UBC

Streak: 3 losses

2010 CanWest Record: N/A

2010 CanWest Championship: N/A

2010 CIS Tournament: N/A

Last CanWest Title: N/A

Last CIS Title: N/A

Full Schedule / Roster

The Heat are hoping that after playing a team like the Thunderbirds and the lessons learned will lead to success in their matchup this weekend, assistant coach Becki Kosinski puts it this way:

“Learning how to play at that level [and sustain it]for a longer period of time. [With the] deeper serves, [the] ball coming at a harder pace, and our girls staying [mentally] in the match a little bit longer.[These are the lessons we learnt] after playing against them [T-birds] two nights in a row, it is only going to make us better.”

With this being the first league game on the road for the Heat Kosinski says one thing the team needs to do is “get comfortable, to make [their gym] feel like our own.”

“The game plan going into [this weekend],” continues Kosinski, “is [that we are] going to have to be able to come into their gym, serve tough and control that first ball off of their serve. If we are able to control our first contact, we can run our offense and try and put them into trouble. It’s a matter of tuning out the external interruptions, focusing on what we’re doing on the court.”

The Heat well focus on former Ohio State Buckeye Kristi Hunter (Roblin, MB), this fifth year leftside is pacing the Bisons with 3.71 kills per set placing her fourth in the nation in that category.

The Heat are struggling statistically and do not boast many players in the top 20 in any key categories although second year setter Chandler Proch (Kelowna, BC) is eighth in assists with 139, or 19th at 8.69 a set.

First year Heat outside hitter Brianna Beamish (Surrey, BC) is looking forward to the challenges of their first road game, Beamish says it is “fun going away. It’s great in our gym, but to go and play in someone else’s gym is a different experience.”

The Heat played Manitoba in the preseason losing in four sets in the semi-final of the Lea Marc non-conference tournament in Winnipeg in early October.

MANITOBA BISONS (3-1)

CIS National Ranking: No. 5

CanWest Standings: 3rd

Last Week: 1-1; Fri 3-1 over UC, Sat 3-0 loss to UC

Streak: 1 loss

2010 CanWest Record: 10-8 (5th)

2010 CanWest Championship: 2-2

Last CanWest Title: 1971

Last CIS Title: 2002

Full Schedule / Roster

Some more info from CanadaWest.org:

MANITOBA BISONS

Key additions: Christina Souza, Crystal Mulder

Key returnees: Tricia Mayba, Kristi Hunter, Nicole Hall, Rachel Cockrell

Key departures: Ashley Voth, Sam Loewen, Kate Wasyliw, Amy Toews

WINNIPEG – After a difficult end to the 2010-11 season when they lost in the Canada West Final Four, the Manitoba Bisons women’s volleyball team looks to rebound and return to the CIS Championship with changes to the starters and full roster.

With departures of CIS All-Canadian Ashley Voth, CIS Rookie of the Year Sam Loewen, Canada West All-Star Kate Wasyliw and graduating player Amy Penner, the Bisons will have two rookies in the starting lineup, as Christina Souza becomes the new setter while Crystal Mulder is added on the right side.

Manitoba returns a strong nucleus as fifth-year middle Tricia Mayba, played for Team Canada at both 2011 Summer Universiade and Pan Am Games, and fifth year left side Kristi Hunter, who was a Canada West All-Star plus fourth year libero Nicole Hall and second year left/right side hitter Rachel Cockrell.

The strong recruiting class of six will compliment the returning Bisons with a goal to battle in the ultra competitive conference standing and host a playoff series before a desired return to the Nationals.

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