SASKATOON, SASK. – The visiting UBC Okanagan Heat made quick work of the University of Saskatchewan Huskies with a 3-0 (25-23, 26-24, 25-20) Friday night at the PAC in Saskatoon.
Outside hitter Myrte Schön (3rd year, Langley, BC) was impressive on the night, tallying a match-high 15 kills and six digs for the Heat. First year Katy Klomps (Middle, Surrey, BC) added another seven kills and one solo block. Libero Lenai Schmidt (3rd year, Vernon, BC) recorded 13 digs, while setter Chandler Proch (2nd year, Kelowna, BC) had 28 assists.
“We played a solid match and were able to keep an even flow throughout,” noted Heat head coach Steve Manuel. “Myrte’s been injured and playing the last few weeks with a pulled abdominal. She’s been taped up and she hasn’t been able to reach back and swing at the ball. She’s feeling a lot better, she’s worked through it and I think she’s pretty much over it. She’s able to get that extra five or ten per cent jump in her swing and that’s the difference.”
Outside hitters Candace Hueser and Alex Van Dyke provided the bulk of the Huskies’ offence, combining for 23 of the team’s 42 kills in the match. Erin McGladdery led the Huskies with 12 digs and Erin Foster recorded 28 assists.
The Heat jumped ahead 5-2 in the first set, forcing the Huskies to take a timeout. Saskatchewan crawled back into the game after the break, matching the Heat point-for-point. However, the Heat pulled ahead on a kill by Schön to make it 24-22 – the biggest lead since the first few points of the set. Schön ended the set 25-23 after her attack sailed off the Huskies’ blockers.
Saskatchewan took the 15-14 lead after the UBC Okanagan were assessed a yellow card in the second set. The card seemed to light a spark under the Heat, who scored the next four points, but a Hueser kill turned the momentum back to Saskatchewan, tying the game at 19. The two matched each other point for point until Jill Festival (Outside hitter, 3rd year, Calgary, AB) and Klomps led UBC Okanagan to the 26-24 win.
“Katy’s a force. She’s aggressive and she’s going hard all the time. There’s no let up in the kid, says Manuel. “She makes things happen for us, for herself and for the team.”
Although the Huskies jumped ahead 7-4 in the third set, UBC Okanagan pulled back in the game with a five-point service run by Proch. The Heat were the first to the technical timeout but the momentum swung in the Huskies’ favour, recording the next four points that included two service aces. UBC Okanagan wasn’t going to give up, and after tying the game at 19 outscored the Huskies 6-1 for the 25-20 win.
With the win the Heat improve to 4-13, while the Huskies are still in search of their first win at 0-17.
“We played a solid match tonight and were able to keep an even flow throughout,” added Manuel. “We had a couple of players step up and carry the offensive load, but everyone chipped in to get the job done tonight.
“I like how we adjusted to what they were doing. Once we started keying in on their tendencies we were able to do some things tactically that made the difference. Our serving and the backing was the main difference in the end.”
The two teams will meet again Saturday night at the PAC. Match time is 6 p.m. It can be watched on www.canadawest.tv
HEAT NOTES: Myrte Schön notched 15 kills at a 41.6 percentage, a season high for the outside hitter…Katy Klomps has been very consistent in her first year in the middle for the Heat; in her last 6 matches she has recorded no fewer than 7 kills and no more than 11, with a hitting rate no lower than .230 and only once over .300.