Heat put defending champs to the test

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November 9, 2013, BRANDON, MB (ISN) – Men’s volleyball: A third set that needed an additional 18 points pushed both Brandon and the Heat to the edge, and with the Bobcats emerging victorious, a deflated Heat team was unable to muster a fourth set win, ultimately falling 3-1 (25-19, 19-25, 35-33, 25-19).

Finding their way in the second set, the Heat quickly shook off a first set loss to tie the game up at 1-1. 7 kills by Nate Speijer (5th year, Penticton, BC) and 5 kills by Lars Bornemann (1st year, Victoria, BC) in the set proved to be too much to handle for the Bobcats, and the Heat would head into the third set feeling confident about their chances to dethrone the defending Canada West champions.

A battle would ensue in the third set, with neither team surrendering more than a four point lead to the other. At 14-14, the tipping point of the set had yet to be reached. Both teams would continue to exchange points, with Nate Speijer, Lars Bornemann, and Kyle Pankratz (3rd year, Surrey, BC) going toe-to-toe with Sam Tuivai (3rd year, Auckland, NZ), Dan Boutwell (5th year, Kenora, ON), and Roy Ching (2nd year, Nelson, NZ).

A kill by Speijer at 23-21 but the Heat in full control at 24-21, but a service error and two Bornemann hitting errors allowed Brandon to extend the set to 25-24. Service errors were exchanged in the points following, and a Brendan White kill at 32-32 followed by a Pankratz hitting error would put Brandon ahead for good 34-32.

Refusing to fold, the Heat came right back at Brandon in the fourth set. With the score quickly knotted at 11-11, another marathon set seemed imminent. However, unforced errors down the stretch allowed the Bobcats to pull away, and escape the set with a 25-19 victory to win the game 3-1.

Nate Speijer would finish with a game-high 18 kills, while Lars Bornemann and Kyle Pankratz would add 12 and 11 kills respectively. For the Bobcats, the duo of Sam Tuivai and Dan Boutwell would tally 15 and 13 kills for Brandon.

With the loss, the Heat sit at 1-4 on the season, while Brandon improves to 3-2.

Both teams will complete the weekend series tomorrow at HLC, with the first set scheduled for 5 p.m. (PST) The action can be caught live on canadawest.tv.