Heat unable to combat the Wesmen

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okanagan heat

February 2, 2013, Winnipeg, MB (ISN) – It was just another one of those games for a Heat squad still experiencing the growing pains that accompany being such a young team.

Traveling to Winnipeg, MB, the Heat were unable to take a set off a veteran Wesmen team 3-0 (25-19, 25-19, 25-23) Friday night inside the Duckworth Centre.

Greg Niemantsverdriet (4th year, Vernon, BC) came out firing early on, rattling off 5 of the Heat’s first 11 kills to open up the game. However, no other Heat hitter was able to complement his attack, allowing Winnipeg to key on the veteran player. Niemantsverdriet would finish the game with 11 kills on 36 attempts. Jon Russo (2nd year, Lake Country, BC) would chip in 8 kills and 4 digs on the night as well, but as a team, the Heat were only able to combine for a .082 kill percentage on the evening.

Heat head coach Greg Poitras felt Jon Russo was his “most effective attacker” on the night, and felt his team had a solid shot at winning the third set.

“We had a reasonable amount of control in the third [set],” said Poitras. “Guys were making plays.”

Issues at the service line continue to be a glaring issue for the Heat, as they committed 10 service errors tonight after a tough weekend of serving in Vancouver, BC.

However, what the stat sheet won’t show was the some encouraging play by the majority of the young Heat players. Alex Swiatlowski (1st year, Victoria, BC), Leo Schober (2nd year, Kelowna, BC), and Kristof Schlagintweit (1st year, Abbottsford, BC) showed flashes of promising things to come. It’s simply just a matter of time for this young squad, but with more playing time comes more development.

“We had a bunch of different guys out there tonight playing well,” finished Poitras.

With the win, the Wesmen vault to 9-10, while the Heat drop to 2-17.

Both teams will close out the weekend series tomorrow, battling inside the Duckworth Centre at 4:00 p.m. Kelowna time.

All the action can be viewed on www.canadawest.tv

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