This Week in UBC Okanagan Athletics (Sep 21-22)

okanagan heat

Cary Mellon

September 18, 2013, UBC Okanagan (ISN) – Men’s Volleyball – Heat men’s volleyball will begin exhibition play in preparation for the 2013/2014 Canada West season this Saturday, hosting the Trinity Western Spartans in a friendly exhibition match at the UBC’s Okanagan campus Gymnasium.

The Heat are coming off of a 2-19 season that began full of optimism, but turned sour in an instant. An emergency appendectomy suffered by 2011-2012 Canada West All-Star Nate Speijer (5th year, Penticton, BC) just days before the start of the season left the Heat shell-shocked, and without their leading kill man, the offense sputtered as teams were better able to control the likes of the now departed Greg Niemantsverdriet and Riley McFarland.

However, the absence of Speijer forced the many young Heat players into the fray, which should prove beneficial heading into this season. Heat middle Jim Bell (Surrey, BC) and outside hitter Alex Swiatlowski (Victoria, BC) will head into their second seasons and will be relied heavily upon to provide balance to the Heat attack. Setter Kristof Schlagintweit (Abbottsford, BC) will also head into his second season, and it is safe to say that the Heat will only go as far as he will allow them to go. He will need to be a better orchestrator on offense this season if the Heat are to eclipse their win total of last year.

Saturday’s exhibition match is scheduled for 6 p.m.

Women’s Soccer – The undefeated Heat (3W-0L-1D) look to continue their winning ways this weekend, returning to the west coast for a pair of games versus the Langara College Falcons and the Quest University Kermodes.

The Langara Falcons are young, but they are playing with veteran poise to begin the 2013 PACWEST season. All but one Falcon (Lauren Tasaka) are in either their first or second year of eligibility, but so far, they are proving that experience doesn’t always translate to skill. A trio of first and second-year players has the Langara attack grooving over the course of the first four games, with Amelia Brown (2nd year, West Vancouver, BC), Katie Inkster (1st year, Vancouver, BC), and Paige Slight (1st year, Coquitlam, BC) all notching goals to bring balance to the Eagle attack.

The Falcons will host the Heat Saturday, September 21st at Hugh Boyd Community Park in Richmond, BC. Kickoff is scheduled for 12 p.m.

As for Quest, a 3W-1L-0D start to the season has the Kermodes brimming with confidence, and they are undoubtedly looking forward to Sunday’s matchup versus the Heat, as only one point in the standings separates both teams. Mari Tarleton (4th year, Bellingham, WA) has wreaked havoc on opponents to far this season to the tune of four goals in four games, but Tiana Gilchrist (4th year, North Vancouver, BC) has been shaky at times in net, posting a Goals-Against-Average of 1.67 so far this season. She will need to play her best game of the season so far if the Kermodes hope to defeat a Heat team that boasts a +6 goal differential.

The Kermodes will host the Heat Sunday, September 22nd at Kermode Field in Squamish, BC. Kickoff is scheduled for 12p.m.

On the UBC Okanagan side of the ball, the Heat are firing on all cylinders – both offensively and defensively. The return of Christine Tallon (4th year, Kamloops, BC) to the Heat net has brought even more stability to a Heat defense that boasts arguably the stingiest back line in the PACWEST. Pairing this defensive prowess with an offense that is scoring by committee early in the season makes the Heat a very dangerous club indeed. Michelle Smith (3rd year, Vernon, BC) and Haylee Lakovic (1st year, West Kelowna, BC) have both notched two goals for the Heat so far, with Jennifer Kidd (5th year, Richmond, BC) and Taylor Sarchet (5th year, Surrey, BC) adding two goals as well to balance the Heat attack.

Men’s Soccer – It’s safe to say that the two-win season of 2012 is long behind the men from UBC Okanagan, as the Heat have begun the season 2W-1L-1D and look to continue to build on their early success this weekend, traveling to Richmond and Squamish to face off against the Langara Falcons and the Quest Kermodes.

Saturday’s game versus the Langara College Falcons will see two very similar teams do battle for second place in the standings, as both the Heat and Falcons currently sit with records of 2W-1L-1D. Ramsey Alfantazi, Jordan Gilles, and Brody Kirkley-Fech have the Falcon offense flying high, while Noah Pawlowski has been relatively solid in net so far this season, posting a 1.25 GAA over four games so far this season. It may only be the fifth game of the season, but Saturday’s game should prove crucial in terms of standings positioning.

Saturday’s game between the Langara College Falcons and the UBC Okanagan Heat will be held at Hugh Boyd Community Park in Richmond, BC. Kickoff is scheduled for 2 p.m.

The Quest Kermodes, unlike the Falcons, have gotten off to a poor start to begin the 2013 season. Defensively, the Kermodes have struggled, and thus far, Quest has been unable to post a win over the first four games. Offensively, John McEown continues to be a force offensively, but as a team, Quest continues to struggle defensively. McEown will need the help of his entire team Sunday if Quest hopes to come out victorious versus the Heat.

Sunday’s game between the Quest University Kermodes and the UBC Okanagan Heat will be held at Kermode Field, in Squamish, BC. Kickoff is scheduled for 2 p.m.

As previously mentioned, the 2013 Heat product looks nothing like the 2012 version, which bodes well for the program. The infusion of young talent who understand head coach Dante Zanatta’s system is arguably the most important reason behind the Heat’s success so far this season. First-year players like Enzo Paal (1st year, Coldstream, BC), Giovanni Carida (1st year, Coquitlam, BC), and Lucas Krivak (1st year, Port Moody, BC) are already proving their worth on offense, while Logan Ellis (2nd year, Calgary, AB) has shown exponential improvement in net since his rookie campaign last year. It’s safe to say the Heat have left 2012 in the rearview.

Home Events

Men’s Volleyball – Exhibition game versus Trinity Western University, Saturday (6 p.m.) at the Gymnasium, UBC’s Okanagan campus.

Away Events (All times in PST)

Women’s Soccer – vs. Langara Falcons, Saturday (12 p.m.) at Hugh Boyd, Richmond, BC

Men’s Soccer – vs. Langara Falcons, Saturday (2 p.m.) at Hugh Boyd, Richmond, BC

Women’s Soccer – vs. Quest Kermodes, Sunday (12 p.m.) at Kermode Field, Squamish, BC

Men’s Soccer – vs. Quest Kermodes, Sunday (2 p.m.) at Kermode Field, Squamish, BC

Scott Harrigan
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