KELOWNA, B.C. – The Thompson Rivers University WolfPack women’s volleyball team made an amazing comeback tonight and denied the Heat a victory after five tight sets, winning 3-2 (25-21, 10-25, 19-25, 25-20, 16-6) at UBC’s Okanagan campus.
The WolfPack are now on a five-game winning streak and have kept their playoff hopes alive in their race for the final playoff spot with the Brandon University Bobcats.We played well tonight and controlled the better part of the match,” commented UBC Okanagan head coach Steve Manuel. “TRU came up with some big plays at key times and we let them off the hook. Still a very positive performance for our young team. We are so very close and with a break here and there we could just as easily have 10 or 11 wins.”
The Heat’s Alex Basso (4th year, outside hitter, Kelowna, BC) dominated tonight’s game, putting down an amazing game high total of 22 kills while also grabbing 14 digs.
“I thought we all played pretty well,” observed Basso. “There were some points where we should have come a little harder. We just weren’t as aggressive as we should have been and that’s where we fell short. I think as a team we played pretty well and we’ll just come out stronger tomorrow night.”
Outside hitter Brianna Beamish (1st year, Surrey, BC) was close behind Basso with 14 kills. Setter Chandler Proch (2nd year, Kelowna, BC) contributed 49 assists. Outside hitter Jill Festival (3rd year, Calgary, BC) grabbed 18 digs alongside teammate Kendra Wayling (3rd year, middle, Castlegar, BC), who grabbed 16.
The ‘Pack’s outside hitter Amanda Frayne (5th year, Kamloops, BC) put down a team high of 11 kills and grabbed a second tied team high of 19 digs. Teammate and freshman Sara Pettersson (Angelholm, Sweden) also grabbed 19 digs against the Heat. Anne Weiss (1st year, Chemnilz, Germany) put down 9 kills and grabbed 11 digs for her team.
“We were dominating the match,” noted Heat head coach Steve Manuel. The Heat won the second and third sets, giving up only 10 and 19 points in those sets. In the fourth set both teams were neck and neck, but the WolfPack started to pull away during some key points.
TRU started the 5th set with a big run, taking an 11-3 lead on the Heat. “They played really well down the stretch,” added Manuel. The WolfPack finished off the Heat 15-9, taking the match in 5 sets.
The win improves the WolfPack to 9-10 and gives them a shot to make the playoffs for the first time ever in their CIS history. The Heat fall to 5-14 in conference play.
The two teams meet again tomorrow night at UBC’s Okanagan campus at 6 p.m. The game can be seen live at www.canadawest.tv.
HEAT NOTES: Third year Myrte Schön (outside hitter, Langley, BC), who had been nursing an injury for the better part of January, had looked to have turned the corner last weekend in Saskatchewan with 30 kills over the two days, but did not play for most of the match tonight after her injury resurfaced.