December 2, 2012, KELOWNA, BC (ISN) – While UBC Okanagan rallied back to take the third set against No. 3 Trinity Western, and kept the match within two nearly the entire fourth set, the favourite Spartans were not to be denied as they took Saturday night’s match versus the Heat in Kelowna in four well-played sets 3-1 (25-22, 25-14, 21-25, 25-21).
It seemed as if the back-to-back national champions Spartans were on their way to straight set victory until an error-filled third set allowed the Heat back into the game. The Spartans committed nine errors in the Heat’s third set win, setting the stage for a possible game-tying fourth set for the Heat.
It was either teams’ set to win in the fourth, with both teams going point-for-point. Trinity and UBC Okanagan traded the first eight points of the game, with neither team going on a run of two or more points. The set continued to play out in the same fashion until Trinity Western took a 22-21 lead, then rattling off three straight kills to steal the set 25-21 and the game.
Once again, stalwart defense by Trinity helped in their winning effort. Currently sitting third in Canada West in terms of blocks per game with 2.72, the Spartans were able to send back 13 Heat kill attempts to boost their block total on the year to 122.5. The Heat, meanwhile, sit at 87.5 blocks on the year.
“Trinity definitely gave us the opportunity to have success,” commented head coach Greg Poitras following the game. “They made quite a number of errors, but we just weren’t able to transfer their mistakes into points.”
As usual, the Heat offense was led by fifth-year senior Riley McFarland (Surrey, BC). McFarland was able to collect 16 kills on 36 attempts for a solid .333 kill percentage. In extended minutes, Davis Proch (4th year, Kelowna, BC) came in to replace rookie setter Kristof Schlagintweit (Abbotsford, BC) and played extremely well. Proch had 16 assists on the night and added five digs to the Heat effort.
“Davis sets a nice clean game,” added Poitras. “He keeps it very simple, and I was happy with the way he came off the bench and played tonight.”
With the loss, the Heat remain winless on the season and sit at 0-11, while Trinity Western continues to climb at 9-2.