okanagan heat

November 25, 2012, EDMONTON, AB (ISN) – The undermanned and unranked UBC Okanagan Heat men’s volleyball team were unable to pull of the Hollywood upset of the number one team in the nation, the University of Alberta Golden Bears, as the home squad dispatched the Heat in three sets 3-0 (25-12, 25-20, 25-10).

“We have it in us to play better ball,” UBC Okanagan head coach Greg Poitras pointed out. “We’ll need to stop these giant runs. Credit to Alberta with their defense to transition game.”

The first and second sets were both tightly contested but the Heat ended up on the losing end in both. The first set was close (14-10) and then a nine point run by Alberta stretched the lead to 23-10.

In the second set, the Heat were unable to take advantage of Alberta errors and then made a few of their own as the Bears stole the middle set 25-20. Poitras thought the second set was the team’s best opportunity but noted that the “two missed serves late in the second cost us that set.”

With six kills, fifth-year outside hitter Riley McFarland (Surrey, BC) was the top attacker for UBC Okanagan, and freshman setter Kristof Schlagintweit (Abbotsford, BC) continues to handle the Heat’s offense dishing out 19 assists this afternoon.

“Our middles prepared well and took away Alberta’s middle tendencies,” said Poitras of his team effectively following their game plan.

The two Golden Bear middles, Tristan Aubrey and Matt McCreary, were able to generate only five and four kills respectively as the UBC Okanagan pair of middles, Bret Uniat (5th year, Cochrane, AB) and Jim Bell (1st year, Surrey, BC), slowed down the Alberta pair.

“I thought we had them out of system more than we expected due to good strategic serving,” continued Poitras, citing his team’s service success. The Heat as a team notched two aces and served at 86.4%.

The Alberta attack was led by junior Jay Olmstead, whose ferocious swings led the team with 13 kills-converting 44% of his chances. Fifth-year right side Mitch Irvine was a little less efficient than Olmstead at 31.6%, but finished with 11 kills nonetheless.

This is the Bears ninth win in a row as they start the season 9-0, while the Heat fall to 0-9 in conference play this year.

The Heat will look to notch their first win of the season and look to take a game off of the No. 1 Bears when they square off in a Sunday matinee tomorrow that will start at 1:30 p.m. PST at the Saville Community Sports Centre in Edmonton.