The Spartans would not be upset by a Heat squad who was need of a little extra firepower to come even with the Spartans, who downed the home squad in a hard fought sweep.
Men’s Volleyball (Canada West conference play)
UBC Okanagan Gymnasium, UBC Okanagan, Kelowna, B.C.
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KELOWNA, B.C. – For their home opener the UBC Okanagan men’s volleyball team was treated to another top-tier team in the No. 3 Trinity Western Spartans, who would be pushed and tested but ultimately not exhausted by the Heat as the visiting squad walked away with a clean sweep of the night (25-19, 25-20, 25-21).
The top flight offense of the Spartans was on showcase, spearheaded by third-year hitter Ryan Sclater of Port Coquitlam, who tallied game-high 16 kills on an efficient .303 clip. Sophomore Blake Scheerhoorn joined Sclater in double-digit kills for the match, posting 13 (.237).
Spartan libero Tyler Kosolowsky (Abbotsford, BC) was all over the court to make numerous saving plays that further hurt a lackluster Heat offensive punch. The backline defenseman would tally a game-high 13 digs.
Third-year middle Jim Bell (Surrey, BC) was a lone spark of consistent offensive production for the Okanagan team as he posted a team-high seven kills (.263). Directly behind him was third-year outside-hitter Alex Swiatlowski (Victoria, BC) who tallied six kills and one solo block on the night.
Fourth-year outside-hitter Tanner March (Kelowna, BC) was named the Heat Player of the Game.
UBC Okanagan would trail the entirety of the match, but drew even with the Spartans in the final set 17-17, and looked to have more than a glimmer of hope that they might steal even a single set off their formidable foe. The fourth set would be won by Trinity by the closest margin of the night of four points.
Lack of consistent production was cited as a leading cause of the Heat’s inability to level with the Spartans by the team’s head coach Greg Poitras.
“We’re showing a high level of play against a top team, but we’re not doing that over a long enough period of time,” said Poitras postgame, adding that the simple adjustment for tomorrow will be that “We have to score better. [Trinity] slowed the ball down a lot and made our lives miserable on defense, but we didn’t attack the ball like we’ve shown we can over a good chunk of the match. Our outside hitters were inefficient and [those numbers] were way too low to beat a team like Trinity.”
In the first set the Heat hit -.062 with just five kills and the Spartans would grabbed the opening set 25-19. UBC Okanagan hit the best in the second at .200 and nine kills but Trinity would hit for .395 and 20 kills to win the second 25-20. Trinity only made 1 attack error in the third set and UBC Okanagan had 12 kills in the third, yet Trinity finished the match off 25-21.
UBC Okanagan will continue looking for their first win as they are now 0-3 to start the 2014-15 season. Meanwhile, Trinity Western improves to 3-0 to maintain their status amongst the CIS volleyball elite.
Both squads will face-off again tomorrow at 7 p.m., where the Heat will get a second crack at giant slaying. Stream the action online and view live stats at canadawest.tv.