UBC Okanagan Heat to host Canada West women’s volleyball playoff this week


February 13, 2013, Kelowna, BC (ISN) – Starting Thursday night the UBC Okanagan Heat women’s volleyball team will begin their sojourn into the postseason as the Mount Royal Cougars travel to Kelowna to play a best two-of-three match at UBC’s Okanagan campus.

The winner of the series will move on to the Canada West Final Four hosted by the UBC Thunderbirds at war Memorial Gymnasium, where the top three finishers of the tournament earn a berth to the CIS championships.

The 2013 CIS Women’s Volleyball Championship will be held February 28th to March 2nd at the Université de Sherbrooke.

This best two of three playoff series for the Heat will see first serve on Thursday night at 6 p.m. Game two of the series is set for Friday night at 6 p.m. If needed, the third game will take place Saturday afternoon (TBA). All games will be played in UBC Okanagan campus Gymnasium

Admission is free for UBC students with Student ID and for children under 12. Adults are $5 and just $3 for youth, seniors and visiting students.

Live webcasts of the playoff series will be on ubco.canadawest.tv.

Thunderbird sweep leads to Heat opportunity

Thinking back to Saturday night, you have to wonder if Heat women’s volleyball coach Steve Manuel knew what was happening at the Mount Royal vs. UBC matchup. Mount Royal had taken the first set off of UBC at home, and although an upset of the highly rankled Thunderbirds would be unlikely the tiebreaking procedure had now meant UBC Okanagan could not lose in four sets and still host.

Down already two sets to one, the Heat trailed late in the fourth 21-17 and 23-20 when UBC Okanagan won seven of the next nine points to earn the host berth of the Canada West Quarter-finals. All the math and watching of scoreboard in the end proved meaningless as Manuel’s squad took down the Brandon Bobcats in the fifth set 3-2 (25-20,21-25,22-25,27-25,15-9) to sweep the weekend series after a 3-0 (25-21, 25-22, 25-23) win on Friday, and marked their fourth win a row. With the sweep the Heat finished their sophomore season with a record of 15-7, an increase of nine wins from last season, fourth place in the league and a host berth of the Canada West Quarter-finals.

The Mount Royal Cougars are in their first year in Canada West competition and not only qualified for a playoff spot but nearly finished with a record worthy of hosting a postseason series. The 14-8 Cougars split with UBC Okanagan in their series in November in Calgary. The Cougars were equally effective on home (7-4) or on the road (7-4) but struggled against ranked teams having being swept by UBC (No. 1), TWU (No. 2), and Alberta (No. 6). The Cougars knocked-off teams that were ranked at the time they played them: Calgary (1 win / 1 loss, No. 10 at the time), Brandon (2 wins, No. 10 at the time) yet both those squads did not finish the year ranked in the top ten, with Calgary grabbing the final playoff berth. The win versus UBC Okanagan, who were unranked at the time, is the only victory against a team that finished as top ten in the country.

Canada West Quarter-finals: best two of three matches

No. 9 Women’s Volleyball vs. No.10 Mount Royal Cougars, Thursday, Feb 14 (6 p.m.), at the UBC Okanagan campus Gymnasium

No. 9 Women’s Volleyball vs. No. 10 Mount Royal Cougars, Friday, Feb 15 (6 p.m.), at the UBC Okanagan campus Gymnasium

*No. 9 Women’s Volleyball vs. No.10 Mount Royal Cougars, Saturday, Feb 16 (TBA), at the UBC Okanagan campus Gymnasium

*if needed