First serve for the home opener is Friday at 6 p.m. and then the rematch on Saturday at 5 pm. Both games in the UBC Okanagan Gymnasium.
HEAT (3-3, 1-1 Canada West) SCHEDULE | ROSTER | STATS
CIS National Ranking: No. 5
CanWest Standings: 6th
Last week: 1-1; Fri W (3-2), Sat L (3-1); @ AB
Streak: 1 Loss
2013-14 CanWest Record: 12-10 (7th)
2014 CanWest Playoffs: 2-2 – 4th
2014 CIS Tournament: N/A
Last CanWest Title: N/A
Last CIS Title: N/A
This Weekend: In a strange twist of fate in the women’s volleyball schedule the UBC Okanagan Heat will face the number one team two weeks in a row, as the No. 1 Trinity Western Spartans descend upon UBC Okanagan for a pair of games this weekend.
Home opener: This Friday night will be the Canada West conference home opener for UBC Okanagan with first serve set for 6 p.m. The Spartans and Heat will play again on Saturday yet start an hour earlier at 5 p.m.
Last weekend: UBC Okanagan travelled to Edmonton for their first conference matches of 2014-15 and won in dramatic fashion on Friday night versus the top-ranked Pandas W 3-2 (16-25, 18-25, 25-20, 28-26, 15-13). After the emotionally draining comeback the Heat were unable to sustain their energy and fell in four sets on Saturday, L 3-1 (25-22, 21-25, 25-10, 25-21).
Final Four: In another twist of scheduling fate UBC Okanagan will have an early season crack at the team that denied the Heat’s push for a berth at the 2014 National Championship. Trinity Western ended the Heat’s 2013-14 season with a four set, 3-1 (18-25, 25-16, 26-24, 25-14) victory in the bronze medal game at the Canada West Final Four on February 22 in Vancouver.
UBC Okanagan Heat vs. the Trinity Western Spartans Record: In conference play 1-5; 0-1 in postseason play.
Trinity as No. 1: The last time Trinity Western played in Kelowna they were also ranked No. 1, in December of 2012, and UBC Okanagan would knock them out of the top-ranking with a split in front of the UBC Okanagan faithful. (Sat Dec 1) W 3-1 (25-19, 13-25, 26-24, 25-17) and (Sun Dec 2) L 3-1 (25-18, 12-25, 25-13, 25-23)
Trinity Last weekend: The Spartans hosted the young Thompson Rivers WolfPack in Langley for their opening matchup and dispatched TRU in three sets on Friday (25-21, 25-22, 25-20) and in five sets on Saturday (22-25, 20-25, 25-21, 25-11, 15-13).
Heat Leaders vs. the Spartans: #10 Katy Klomps: 25 Kills .179%, 4 Service Aces, 27 Blocks (6 Games); #7 Brianna Beamish 14 kills -.021%, 15 digs, 17 points (5 Games); #6 Megan Festival: 12 Kills -.053%, 2 Service Aces, 18 Digs, 14.5 points (4 Games); #11 Katie Wuttunee: 17 kills .262%, 10 blocks, 22.5 points (4 Games);
Spartan Leaders after one week: #15 Alicia Perrin: 17 kills .289%, 14 blocks, 3.5 pts/set; #7 Sophia Carpentier: 18 kills .125%, 16 digs, 2.4 pts/set; #11 Vanessa Cornwall: 55 assists, 4 service aces, 8 blocks, 9 digs;
TRINITY WESTERN SPARTANS (4-1, 2-0 Canada West) SCHEDULE | ROSTER | STATS
CIS National Ranking: No. 1
CanWest Standings: 1st
Last week: 2-0; Fri W (3-0), Sat W (3-2); vs. TRU
Streak: 2 Wins
2013-14 conference record: 17-5
2014 CW playoffs: 3rd
2014 CIS tournament: 5th
Last CW title: N/A
Last CIS title: N/A
preseason preview courtesy of Canadawest.org
Key additions: Elly Wendel
Key returnees: Sophie Carpentier, Nikki Cornwall, Casie Gano, Kristen Moncks, Alicia Perrin, Royal Richardson, Carly Hamilton
Key departures: Chelsea Fitchette, Chelsea Wand
LANGLEY – This is the year the Trinity Western women’s volleyball program has been waiting for. The talent has aligned and what will likely be a very veteran starting unit is gearing up for one more shot at earning TWU its first ever national championship.
With six fifth-year players on the Spartans roster this year – four of which are likely starters – TWU has a team that is set to make a run at both a conference and national title.
Last year’s fifth place finish at nationals was a disappointing end to a promising season. This year, almost the entirety of the 2013-14 starting unit is back and is ready to make some noise.
Setter Nikki Cornwall (Coquitlam, B.C.) returns to lead the offence after an outstanding first season in which she was named to the Canada West All-Rookie Team. Fifth-year setter Lauren Moncks (Standard, Alta.) will also be back competing for starting minutes, but has been hampered by injuries early on in the season.
On the outside, the Spartans have added a powerful arm who can, quite literally, jump better than any other Spartan in women’s volleyball history. The third-year Elly Wendel (Caronport, Sask.) joins TWU from Briercrest College after finishing second in the ACAC with 3.4 kills/set last year.
Wendel will join an already impressive cast of players on the outside that includes, amongst others, CIS First Team All-Canadian Sophie Carpentier (Ottawa), former Canada West all-star Royal Richardson (Rocky Mountain House, Alta.), Chelsea Tancon (Nanaimo, B.C.), Carly Hamilton (Calgary) and outside-turned middle-turned outside Casie Gano (Sundre, Alta.).
With Alicia Perrin (Creston, B.C.), who led Canada West last year with 1.61 blocks/set, back for her fifth and final year, the Spartans group of middles will be led by one of the best in the country. The Canada West all-star is a dominating presence in the middle and with second-year Katie Devaney (Port Coquitlam, B.C.) joining Perrin, the TWU middle position is likely as good as anyone in the CIS. Last year, Perrin and Devaney finished first and second in the conference in blocks per set.
Defensively, Spartans fifth-year libero Kristen Moncks (Standard, Alta.) will hold down the fort and no doubt keep the opposition’s attack at bay. Last year, she averaged 3.37 digs/set and the year before she was named the Canada West Libero of the Year. Second-year Rachel Flink (Surrey, B.C.) has looked strong in preseason and will push Moncks to be at her best every week.
It could be said that this year’s group of players is the most physical and deepest team ever assembled by Spartans coach Ryan Hofer. From top to bottom, the team arguably looks as good on paper as any team in Canada West.
Over the last four years, the Spartans have finished in either third, in 2011 and 2013, or fifth, in 2012 and 2014, at the national championship. This year, Hofer’s squad is aiming to get to the national championship final for the first time in program history and once they’re there, win it all.
While the road to get there is plenty long and plenty winding, this team is hoping this year is the year they finally navigate the entire route.