okanagan heat

January 20, 2013, Kelowna, BC, (ISN) – The UBC Okanagan Heat women’s volleyball team earned the weekend sweep, and fourth in a row after the second nail-biter in two-nights versus the visiting University of Calgary Dinos.

UBC downs their extinct adversaries in five sets (26-24, 25-15, 17-25, 21-25, 15-13).

Calgary resident Jill Festival, a fourth year outside hitter, was named the Heat Player of the Game versus her hometown, leading the game with 20 kills on a highly efficient .552 percentage.

A stubborn Dinos defense kept the Heat from executing well for most of the match, keeping a lot of pressure on the Heat’s hitters at the net. As a team the Dinos posted 19.0 team blocks and totalled 32 block assists for the night. Their defense kept the Heat to only a .161 hitting percentage.

Still, after a few hiccups in the first set the Heat were able to take control in the second and looked ready for a three-set sweep.

“I think [in] the first set that Calgary just played really well again, and just kept us off-balance all the time,” commented Heat bench boss Steve Manuel after the game. “They’ve got a couple of hitters that, when they got the ball, we couldn’t stop them. We just waited it out and then we just got into a rotation where we executed really well and we made three or four key digs and blocks and we just got on a bit of a roll in the second set.”

However, the Dinos found a way to keep frustrating the Heat attack line and managed to force a fifth set. Both teams traded blows until Jill was able to bring it home, scoring the last two points for the Heat to clench the tight, 15-13 victory.

Usual heavy hitters Myrte Schön (4th year, Langley, BC) and Alex Basso (5th year, Kelowna, BC) struggled largely with their offense tonight, as Myrte finished with only 3 kills and while Basso tallied 15 kills, she also recorded 15 errors and .075 percentage over 53 attempts.

“We’ve got good, strong outside hitters … sometimes you’re timing is off just a little bit, then the other team is going to get you,” coach Manuel went on. He also added, however, that “We’ve got other people that can step up and do the job, and that’s how our team is. We need a team effort from our whole crew, and we’ve been seeing that.”

Emily Oxland (1st year, North Vancouver, BC) coordinated the offense for the Heat to the tune of 61 assists. She continuously was able to set up Jill for great looks en route to the latter’s 20 kills for the night.

“Emily Oxland instinctively does a really good job of making decisions on who to set,” Manuel said of his rookie setter and last night’s Player of the Game. She makes the call play to play on who to set and where.”

The Heat improve to 11-5 for the season and are on the road next weekend with a back-to-back at the number one team in the nation the 15-1 UBC Thunderbirds. Friday’s match begins at 6:00 p.m. at War Memorial Gymnasium.

Watch online at www.canadawest.tv.