Heat hang on in fifth set to sweep Cougars

okanagan heat

Januaray 14, 2013, REGINA, SK (ISN) – If you thought Riley McFarland’s 26 kill performance Saturday afternoon couldn’t be topped, you were wrong; the fifth year outside hitter once again strapped on the cape and put down a career high 30 kills to make like Superman and spur his Heat to a second straight victory.

Fifth year outside hitter Riley McFarland (Surrey, BC) paced UBC Okanagan for the second consecutive night, becoming the first Canada West player to collect 30 kills in a single match since Thompson Rivers’ Kevin Tillie tallied 36 back on Nov. 13, 2010.

The University of Regina’s men’s volleyball team won the third and fourth sets after dropping the first two, but UBC Okanagan recovered with a win in the deciding set to take a 3-2 win on Sunday afternoon in a Canada West match at the Centre for Kinesiology, Health & Sport.

UBC Okanagan won the first two sets by twin 25-20 scores before the Cougars recovered with 25-23 and 25-21 victories to send it to a fifth set. Despite being on the losing end of the previous two sets, the Heat jumped out to a quick 8-3 lead in the final set and cruised to a match-clinching 15-11 win.

“The team is feeling very relieved that things are coming together after a rocky exhibition performance,” said Heat head coach Greg Poitras. “We’ve struggled on the road, so this was a minor milestone for us. We felt a lot of adversity at times and handled that really well.”

McFarland also had 16 digs to go along with his 30 kills and hit .348 in the win, while outside hitter Greg Niemantsverdriet (4th year, Vernon, BC) had 12 kills and 12 digs. Second year setter Jon Russo (Lake Country, BC) had a match-high 17 digs for UBC Okanagan.

Right side Andrew Nelson (2nd year, Regina, SK) led the Cougars with 22 kills, while setter Caleb Eschbach (4th year, Dryden, ON) had 40 assists and 14 digs and outside hitter Rhodri Simmons (2nd year, Perth, Australia) led all players with nine blocks.

The Heat move up to 2-12, while the Cougars drop to 2-12. UBC Okanagan returns home to host the University of Calgary Dinos next weekend, while the Cougars remain at home to host Mount Royal.

“Lots to fine tune this week,” added Poitras. “We’re looking forward to hosting the Dinos.”

Watch the action on www.canadawest.tv.