January 26, 2013, VANCOUVER, BC – Typically a 3-0 loss is nothing to write home about, but this one was different. Despite the result, the Heat showed flashes of maturity and growth as they put their UBC counterparts to the test. However, a veteran T-Bird team made big plays when it counted, dousing the Heat.
Final – 3-0 (25-17, 26-24, 26-24).
After a forgettable first set, the Heat had UBC right where they wanted them in the second set at 23-24. However, kills by Jarrid Ireland and attack errors from the Heat pushed the set in favour of UBC 26-24; a huge missed opportunity for the Heat.
The third set was a back-and-forth affair as well, with the Heat pulling away late at 17-20. However, UBC once again battled back, and at 24-24 Jarrid Ireland put his team ahead with a kill and a service ace to push the set and match in the Thunderbirds’ favour.
“We made some costly errors after the 16th point, and let UBC build,” commented Heat head coach Greg Poitras after the game. “Credit to them for their toughness.”
It was just another one of those games for UBC Okanagan. The Heat remained in the game throughout, but just could not get over the hump late in sets.
However, this game can be seen as another step taken by many of the young Heat players who continue to improve as they finish out the 2012/2013 campaign
Second-year middle Leo Schober (Kelowna, BC) had a solid game by any standard. The former KSS Owl had 6 kills on 9 attempts for an unheard-of .667 kill percentage. Second-year hybrid outside hitter/setter Jon Russo (Lake Country, BC) also had a strong game, posting 7 kills on 13 attempts after coming off the bench in relief.
“We got the middle going much better in this game,” added Poitras. “Russo played well off the bench as well.”
Both teams will return to War Memorial Gymnasium tomorrow for the rubber match. Game-time is scheduled for 7 p.m.