This upcoming weekend the UBC’s Okanagan basketball teams embark on their most difficult road trip of the year when they head east to play the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon Friday night, and then the University of Edmonton Saturday night. On campus here in Kelowna the volleyball teams are back home after an lengthy road trip, when they host the University of Alberta Golden Bears on the men’s side and the Pandas on the women’s. Fun fact, every game the Heat will play this weekend will be against a nationally ranked opponent.
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Volleyball (Men’s and Women’s)
November 5, 2011 – that was the last time there was a UBC Okanagan volleyball game on the Heat’s home court, with both teams dropping both of their matches in Brandon they now get to come and play at home where the men have amassed their three wins and the women one of their two.
In the men’s game the No. 3 ranked University of Alberta Golden Bears will bring their 8-4 record into Kelowna on a bit of a losing streak, having been swept by the No. 1 Trinity Western Spartans just last weekend and dropping one to the UBC Thunderbirds before the break. The Heat have really missed their home gym and have not won a match since starting the season 3-0 with a four set victory over UBC in early November. The Heat now sit at 3-9 and will look to get back on the winning track now that they are at home. Games are set to go Friday and Saturday night at 8 p.m., played on UBC’s Okanagan campus.
For the women the University of Alberta Pandas are also ranked third in the country with an 8-4 record; the Pandas have split their last two weekends of league playing, falling once to Trinity in Langley and then dropping just one to the No. 1 Thunderbirds in December. The Heat took Brandon to a fifth set last Saturday falling just short in the fifth, 17-15. A valiant effort for the Heat as they made the long trip to Brandon without starting setter Chandler Proch, as she is sidelined with a back injury, and the team now sits at 2-10. On the year the Heat have taken out the 9-3 Manitoba Bisons in Winnipeg, and at home they dropped the 12-2 Winnipeg Wesmen for their victories. UBC Okanagan will look to knock off another ranked opponent at home and send the Pandas back to Edmonton with at least their third straight weekend split. Action begins at 6 p.m. both Friday and Saturday Jan. 20-21 nights, watch in person at UBC’s Okanagan campus gym.
Basketball (Men’s and Women’s)
Both basketball teams came so close to knocking off the Spartans on Friday night only to lose late in the game that they had nothing left for Saturday and both teams came away without a win against the Langley school this past weekend.
The Women’s team on Friday night (Jan. 20) will face the University of Saskatchewan Huskies, the No. 4 ranked Huskies have won their last two, beating Calgary twice on the road and now sit at 7-4. The Heat and the Huskies will play Friday night at 4:15 p.m. PST at the Physical Activity Complex on the campus of the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, Sask. Saturday the Heat will check out the University of Alberta’s new Saville Community Centre when they play the No. 5 ranked University of Alberta Pandas; the Pandas have won three in a row and are 9-3 overall after completing a sweep of Lethbridge last weekend. Tipoff time Saturday (Jan 21) is 5 p.m. PST.
The men have the lowest ranked opponents this weekend when they hit Saskatoon and take on the No. 5 ranked Huskies Friday and the No. 8 ranked Golden Bears in Edmonton on Saturday. Saskatchewan split their series last weekend in Calgary and boast a 7-4 conference record, the Bears last weekend swept the Lethbridge Pronghorns at home and own a 8-4 record, both of these teams will be looking to take the Heat out and insure themselves of hosting a first round playoff series. Friday Jan. 20 game time is 6 p.m. PST following the women’s game in the Huskies home gym the Physical Activity Complex. Saturday Jan. 21 in Edmonton game is set for a 7 p.m. PST tipoff and will be played in the Saville Community Centre.
If you can’t be there you can watch the games live at: www.canadawest.tv