By Daniel Herrick, Sports Information Assistant
November 13, 2013 (ISN) – The University of Saskatchewan volleyball teams hope to use home court advantage to climb up the Canada West conference standings against the University of British Columbia Okanagan Heat.
The UBCO’s women’s squad enters the weekend ranked No. 7 and is joined by UBC (1), TWU (3), Brandon (4) and Manitoba (6) as Canada West schools make up half of the CIS Top 10 rankings.
Saskatchewan’s women’s team takes on a top 10 opponent for the third straight weekend.
The Huskie women sit second in the conference in service aces averaging 1.91 per set.
UBCO’s Katy Klomps is the conference leader in blocks with 1.75 per set and notched a conference record on November 2 with 15 blocks in a match.
The men’s squad enters the weekend ranked No. 7 and is joined by TWU (1), Alberta (3), Brandon (4) and UBC (5) as Canada West schools make up half of the CIS Top 10 rankings.
The men are still searching for their first win of the season at the PAC.
UBCO’s Nate Speijer leads the Canada West conference in kills per set, while Saskatchewan’s Tyler Epp leads the conference in hitting percentage.
Since UBC Okanagan joined the Canada West in 2011-12, the Huskies are 1-3 with the win coming last season in Kelowna.
NO. 7 UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA OKANAGAN HEAT (4-2)
The Heat got off to a 4-0 start before dropping back-to-back matches to fourth ranked Brandon last weekend.
UBCO lost just one set during its four match-winning streak.
The Heat feature two players averaging three kills per set or better in Brianna Beamish and Kaitlynn Given averaging 3.00 and 3.80 kills respectively. Katy Klomps is the conference leader with 1.75 blocks per set.
UNIVERSITY OF SASKATCHEWAN HUSKIES (2-4)
After opening the season with a pair of victories, the Huskies have dropped four straight matches to two ranked opponents and will look to upset the seventh ranked Heat at home.
Saskatchewan outperformed its opponents in many categories, but has been out numbered in kills and digs.
Fifth-year outside hitter Candace Hueser has averaged 3.00 kills per set in the first six matches to lead the Huskies. Anne Hanbidge has recorded eight service aces and 53 digs in the campaign. Kayla Tycholiz is third in the conference with 1.41 blocks per set.
Since UBC Okanagan joined the Canada West in 2011-12, the Huskies are 3-1 against the Heat.
UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA OKANAGAN HEAT (1-5)
UBCO is still searching for that elusive first road win of the 2013-14 campaign.
The Heat dropped a pair of games in Brandon last weekend, facing a Top 10 team for the first time this season. Another long road trip to face a ranked team in back-to-back weekends, will pose a tough task for UBCO.
Nate Speijer is the Canada West kills leader, averaging 5.35 per set and teammate Kristof Shlagintweit is second in the conference in assists with 10.7 assists per set.
No. 7 UNIVERSITY OF SASKATCHEWAN HUSKIES (1-5)
After recording its first win of the season over the weekend in Manitoba, Saskatchewan will look to start moving up the standings at home against the Heat.
Saskatchewan opened the season with tough matchups against two top five teams in Alberta and Trinity Western and will look to climb back to .500 one weekend at a time.
2012 Canada West All-Star Bryan Fraser leads the Huskies with 2.84 kills per set. Tyler Epp leads the conference in hitting percentage after three weeks at 44.3%.