CALGARY, AB. – There wasn’t much to separate the two teams – just three points, in fact – but the No. 10 Calgary Dinos came away with a come-from-behind 3-2 victory (20-25, 25-20, 23-25, 25-23, 15-12) over the UBC Okanagan Heat Friday night to open the final weekend of the regular season before the December break.
Led by a first-rate outing from Lindsey Doland, the Dinos trailed and played from behind in all three of their set victories to improve to 5-6 on the season. UBC Okanagan drops to 2-7.
“We had our opportunities early on to put them away and we didn’t,” says coach Steve Manuel. “They just got a little bit stronger and when push came to shove they made the plays and we didn’t. Calgary just played better and better as the match went on.”
Calgary was pushed to the limit by a determined Heat squad, but managed to pull out the win 15-12 in the fifth set after coming back from 1-0 and 2-1 deficits in the match.
“UBC O challenged us defensively and we couldn’t put the ball away early, and there was a lot of frustration around that,” said first-year Dinos head coach Natalie Schwartz. “We struggled to create any momentum or flow in our offence, but other than that we defended very well. With Jordhynn Guy and Emma Pederson coming in off the bench, they opened up a different offence for us, and they did a really good job.”
Guy replaced fifth-year setter Sarah Lacny midway through the second set, while freshman Pedersen spelled the struggling Courtney Dawson and Melanie Miazga and turned in a solid performance in four sets. But it was Doland that sparked the Dinos, recording 20 kills on the night and providing much of the offence in a pivotal set number two as Calgary turned an 18-12 deficit into a 25-20 win by ending on a 13-2 run.
All five sets were tight and could have easily gone the other way as the Heat built up early leads in all five and forced the Dinos to play from behind most of the night.
“We have the ability to win at this level we just haven’t figured out how to yet; we are not prepared to win the matches that we have the opportunity to win,” points out Manuel.
The tandem of fourth year Alex Basso (Outside hitter, Kelowna, BC) and middle Katy Klomps (1st year, Surrey, BC) led the way for UBC Okanagan with 13 kills apiece, while outside hitter Myrte Schön (3rd year, Langley, BC) chipped in with a dozen.
Middle was a strength for the Heat as Manuel notes the “our middles played really well.” Kendra Wayling (3rd year, Castlegar, BC) was their leading defensive player with 16 digs, while Klomps was involved in six of the Heat’s nine blocks on the night.
Outside Doland’s 20-kill, 30 per cent performance, Calgary got big contributions from Maura Hayes with 14 kills off the bench and Ali Sandholm with 13 kills and zero errors for a 48 per cent efficiency. Hayes and libero Brooke Halverson shared the digs lead with 13 each, while Pedersen had a hand in three of the Dinos’ seven team blocks.
Calgary hit 24.2 per cent on the night, edging the Heat’s 21.6 per cent.
Last match of the semester tomorrow night when the Heat try and snatch a win from the Calgary Dinos at 5 p.m. PST., in the Jack Simpson Gymnasium at the University of Calgary. Watch online at www.canadawest.tv.
GAME NOTES – The Heat had had numerous chances to really put Calgary in a deep hole; after winning the first set the Heat led 18-12 in the second set, only to lose 25-20 when Calgary finished off the set with a 13-2 run. In the fourth set the Heat were up 12-7, and 17-15, before falling 25-23…The Heat as a team had 9 blocks to the Dinos 7… Both teams struggled to score in the first set with the Heat’s attack percentage .118 and the Dinos .070, both teams struggled in the 2nd set as well: Heat (.108), Dinos (.190) The rest of the sets as follows: Heat (.316, .237, .350), Dinos (.278, .333, .476)…Katy Klomps led the team with 3.3 points per set on the night, she had been averaging 2.15 before tonight’s match.