okanagan heat

November 9, 2012, CALGARY, AB (ISN) – The UBC Okanagan Heat rolled into a blustery and snowy day in Calgary Friday night and stayed hot, staving off the host Mount Royal University Cougars 3-1 (25-19, 25-16, 21-25, 25-21) in women’s volleyball action on Kenyon Court.

“That was a big win,” commented Heat head coach Steve Manuel. “We controlled the play on our side of the net very well, which allowed us a more varied offense tonight.”

Led by fifth-year outside hitter Alexandra Basso (Kelowna, BC) and middle Katy Klomps (2nd year, Surrey, BC) each with 12 kills apiece, the Heat looked to be in mid-season form picking up their fourth win of the season.

UBC Okanagan improves to 4-1 with the win, while Mount Royal drops their second match of the season to fall to 3-2.

The first set was heavily in favour of the Heat as they jumped out to an early 7-3 lead, paced by Basso and Klomps with two kills each. Setter Emily Oxland (1st year, N. Vancouver, BC) kept the Cougars defense on their toes, distributing the ball all over the court as three Heat attackers ended the set with three kills apiece, including Basso, Klomps and middle Katie Wuttunee (2nd year, N. Vancouver, BC).

The Cougars looked more composed in the second set as the two sides traded sideouts from 6-6 to 11-11. UBC Okanagan jumped out to their biggest lead of the set at 16-11, rattling off five straight points as their staunch defence fueled the offense, eventually closing the Cougars out at 25-16 to take a 2-0 set lead.

Trailing 9-5 in the third set, Mount Royal started to rally as back-to-back service aces by Mackenzie Allen tied the game at 9-9. Tight net play coupled by UBC Okanagan attacking errors gave the Cougars the lead at 19-13 before middle Julia Pasieka sealed the set with a stuff block, 25-21.

Leading 20-19 in the fourth set UBC Okanagan’s Basso would all but end the night, raining down three straight kills to lead 23-19 before Klomps would put the game away with a kill down the middle to win the fourth 25-21 and thereby the match 3-1.

“We were quite effective controlling the ball,” continued Manuel. “It was our best performance of the season so far.”

UBC Okanagan’s Katie Wuttunee was impressive, converting 10 of 15 opportunities for a .467 kill percentage, with fourth year Calgarian, Jill Festival, providing a spark to the team with eight kills, while it was rookie Carolyn O’dwyer once again leading the Cougar offense with 14 kills. Outside hitter Fallon Middlemiss rounded out the Mount Royal attack with seven kills of her own.