The University of Regina Cougars used 20.5 team blocks to stymie the UBC Okanagan Heat’s bid for a fourth win with a five set victory (21-25, 25-18, 15-25, 25-22, 15-11). The Heat, coming out of an outstanding win last weekend against the nationally third ranked team, unfortunately couldn’t pull together to notch another win tonight as they were out-blocked 2:1, resulting in a tough ending to a tight match.
“We just were not able to find any rhythm tonight, our timing was off in every aspect of our game,” commented Heat head coach Steve Manuel. “Regina served and blocked extremely well; they were able to adjust and find ways to score while we were not able to make the necessary adjustments.”
The first set brought strong serves and kills from the Heat, but the Cougars were blocking everything sent over the left side, shutting the Heat down into the second set. Regina’s middle Michelle Sweeting (2nd year, Maryfield, SK) led her team in kills tonight with 13. Libero Rebecca Rink (5th year, Headingly, MB) led the match in digs, grabbing 22. Setter Tiffany Herman (5th year, Craven, SK) helped her team out with 42 assists.
The second set and on brought a change of lineup for the Heat. Head coach Steve Manuel sent in rookie outside hitter Brianna Beamish (Surrey, BC), who smacked down seven kills in her play time. Assistant Heat coach Karl Enns really liked Brianna’s game tonight saying, “she is a really good first year player; she has a live arm and hits the ball with a lot of pace.”
The Heat’s outside hitter Alex Basso (4th year, Kelowna, BC) led the match in kills, smacking 16, despite the Cougars’ attempts to shut her down at the left-side blocking line. She also contributed 14 digs.
Freshman middle Katy Klomps (Surrey, BC) attempted to get past the blocking team of towering Cougars on the left side, smacking 11 kills. After nursing an injury and missing this week’s practices, setter Chandler Proch (2nd year, Kelowna, BC) still came out strong to lead the match in 47 assists. Middle/setter Kendra Wayling (3rd year, Castlegar, BC) and libero Lenai Schmidt (3rd year, Vernon, BC) each grabbed 15 digs.
Manuel continued. “Every single team in Canada West women’s volleyball is a good team, and you need to bring your A game every night and although we can play with everyone, we are not quite able to do that yet.”
The Cougars improve to 3-12 in conference play while the Heat fall to 3-12 to tie the two teams up going into tomorrow night’s match. Due to the loss tonight, the Heat women’s volleyball team can no longer hope to make the playoffs in their first year of Canada West play.
The two teams meet again Saturday night at UBC’s Okanagan campus at 6 p.m. The game can be seen live at www.canadawest.tv
HEAT NOTES: The Cougars put up 20.5 total blocks tonight, with middle Michelle Sweeting leading the way with 11 block assists, setter Tiffany Herman added 1 solos block and 10 block assists. The Heat tallied 10 total team blocks with Chandler Proch and Kendra Wayling each with 5 assist blocks, Jill Festival and Katy Klomps each with 4 block assists….The Heat have 3 wins on the season equaling as many wins as any other schools to join the women’s volleyball league since 1110110110. Trinity Western Spartans joined in 1110110110-00 and went 0-22 in their first season. The Thompson Rivers WolfPack and the Brandon University Bobcats both joined in 2005-06, TRU went 2-18 and Brando 3-17. If the Heat can notch just one win in their last five matches they would be the most successful entrant into the Canada West women’s volleyball league…