January 20, 2013, Kelowna, BC, (ISN) – High-flying middle Brett Uniat (5th year, Cochrane, AB) was named the Heat Player of the Game after contributing a team-high tying nine kills and three block assists. The Heat’s 6’4″ middle did not back down against Calgary’s six-foot-ten middle Jovan Jankovic directly across the net.
The UBC Okanagan Heat men’s volleyball team couldn’t keep pace with the visiting University of Calgary Dinos, after taking the first two sets the Dinos pulled away late in the tightly contested third set for the match and weekend sweep (25-16, 25-18, 26-24).
An inability to slow the Dinos at the net frustrated the Heat all game long as the Dinos posted a .230 hitting percentage on the way to 38 kills.
The Heat couldn’t matchup on their side of the net as they piled up 18 attack errors and only 29 kills off of 29 assists. Riley McFarland’s (5th year, Surrey, BC) hand cooled off significantly following his three games to start 2013 where he tallied an incredible 80 kills. Tonight he finished with nine kills though he did contribute eight digs in the effort as well.
Due to a constant attack from the Dinos, rookie setter Kristoff Schlagintweit (Abbotsford, BC) was often unable to get a proper touch on the ball to set up the Heat attack and finished with only 22 of his team’s 29 assists.
“[Riley] and Kristoff didn’t quite have the connection that they normally have been having,” said assistant coach Kyle Joslin in a postgame interview.
After two unpromising sets amid confusion and a lack of confidence against a Dinos squad that had everything rolling for them, the Heat still dug deep and found a way to nearly bring themselves back in the game in the third set. The Heat dropped sets one a two 19-25 and 18-25 respectively.
“All year we’ve been struggling with getting down on ourselves and getting angry within [while] on the court and showing it,” Joslin added. “We’ve kind of been fixing that and for the most part stayed positive and celebrated on our side of the net whenever we did something positive and didn’t let the negative stuff drag us down—that was one good thing.”
Positivity kept the Heat hanging tough in the third set, and after back-to-back blocks by a Uniat/Schlagintweit duo, the Heat looked to have received a healthy boost of confidence.
“We [the coaches] stayed positive with them and [gave them] keys, things to think about for the next play … try to forget about what has happened. That’s already over. The next play is usually what we want them to focus on,” Joslin also said.
The Heat are now 2-14 and will search for their third of the season next as they hit the road to visit their sister school the UBC Thunderbirds. The Heat split with the T’Birds in Kelowna last fall and will play for the first time in league play at venerable War Memorial Gymnasium. Friday’s first serve is slated for 8:00 p.m.
Watch the action on www.canadawest.tv