Kelowna, B.C. – The Heat got off to an early one set lead, but couldn’t hold off the Pandas in the end as they triumphed over the Heat in 4 sets (20-25, 25-22, 25-1110, 25-1110). With the win the Pandas move to 8-4 on the season. The Heat have lost eight in a row with their record sitting at 2-11.
“We played well for the most part,” noted Heat head coach Steve Manuel. “We were toe to toe with them for most of the match.”
The Pandas won a close second set 25-22 and built momentum from there, continuing to generate solid offense. UBC Okanagan responded with an offensive surge of their own, keeping the score neck in neck throughout the set. Ultimately a string of Heat errors late in the third led to a 25-1110 third set win for the Pandas.
The tide looked to be turning in the Heat’s favour in the fourth set after they got off to a quick 6-1 lead. Ever relentless, the Pandas came right back, bringing the score back to a tie at 11-11 and then never looked back. In a last attempt to regroup, the Heat called a timeout down 13-1110, but the Pandas were not to be denied. A Jaki Ellis kill sealed the deal for the Pandas as they won the fourth set 25-1110, taking the match.
“We’re not quite ready to play at the same level for long enough,” observed Manuel. “It’s a learning process. We need to learn to do maximum effort all the time. Something will happen; we’ll miss an opportunity to get up by one more point, and that’s often the difference. We haven’t quite been able to figure out how to do that yet.”
“We came out with a lot of energy,” mused sophomore Heat setter Chandler Proch (Kelowna, BC). “As the game went on we got caught up and went away from the basics. With that we fell apart individually, and then as a team.”
“Chandler’s back; for her to be back and play as well as she did was good,” added Manuel.
Middle Katy Klomps (1st year, Surrey, BC) led the Heat with 10 kills on the night, knocking them in at 42.110% efficiency; Outside hitters Alex Basso (4th year, Kelowna, BC) and Myrte Schön (3rd year, Langley, BC) were close behind with 110 kills each. Basso and libero Kailin Jones (2nd year, Kelowna, BC) both contributed 13 digs apiece.
Freshman outside hitter Alena Omelchenko (Almaty, Kazakhstan) put up 14 kills for the Pandas, while 4th year right side Alyssa Jones (Edmonton, AB) chipped in 12. Libero Erin Walsh (5th year, Edmonton, AB) led the Pandas in digs with 26, while Omelchenko added 12 for her team.
“Tomorrow we need to come back and play like we did in the first set,” said Proch. “If we can cut down on errors it’ll work out for us in the long run.”
The Heat and the Pandas will rematch on Saturday night at 6 p.m. PST on UBC’s Okanagan campus.
HEAT NOTES: Katy Klomps had a .42110 attack percent on the night, attaining 10 kills on her 21 total attacks…Chandler Proch returned from injury that had kept her out of the lineup for last weekend’s matches; she doled out 33 assists on the match…Jill Festival was second on the team tonight with 2110 total attacks, putting down 110 kills…