No. 1 UBC Okanagan play Cougars in Calgary as they battle for playoff position


No. 1 UBC Okanagan play Cougars in Calgary as they battle for playoff position

By Cary Mellon on January 27, 2015


The Heat women’s volleyball team put their top rank on the line this Thursday and Friday in Calgary versus the Mount Royal Cougars. First serve at 5 p.m.

(Thu) and 4 p.m. (Fri) PST.

Game Times

5 PM (PST) | (#1) UBC Okanagan at Mount Royal

FRIDAY, JAN. 30th:
4 PM (PST) | (#1) UBC Okanagan at Mount Royal

@ Calgary, AB (Kenyon Court)

.213 (3) Hitting Pct. .144 (10)
.136 Opp Hitting Pct. .203
11.89 (3) Kills/set 10.14 (13)
11.05 (3) Assists/set 9.38 (13)
2.46 (2) Blocks/set 2.33 (6)
1.92 (2) Services Aces/set 1.47 (11)
13.72 (6) Digs/set 13.87 (5)

HEAT (20-6, 16-4 Canada West)                        SCHEDULE | ROSTER | STATS
CIS National Ranking: No. 1
CanWest Standings: 1st
Last week: 2-0;  W (3-1) vs TRU, Sat W (3-2) at TRU
Streak: 12 wins
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

Heat this Weekend: This will be the first time that UBC Okanagan hit the court as the top ranked team in the country. Head coach Steve Manuel’s squad will defend that rank this Thursday and Friday in Calgary when they square off against the 4-16 Mount Royal Cougars. The 16-4 Heat will play on Thursday at Kenyon Court with first serve at 5 p.m. (PST), the Friday night rematch is scheduled for 4 p.m. (PST).

Playoff outlook for UBC Okanagan: Last weekend the Heat were on a bye, two weeks ago, with their 11th and 12th conference wins in a row they secured a spot in the playoffs and still have four games left to play.

The last four games are all about holding on to the top spot for UBC Okanagan as the first place team in Canada West hosts the Final Four and earn a bye to the Canada West championships. Alberta, also at 16-4, does have the tie breaker on the Heat so they will have to lose one of their four remaining games with the Heat winning out for Kelowna to host the Final Four on February 20-21.

Upcoming:  UBC Okanagan’s final four games: @ 4-16 Mount Royal (Jan 29-30), vs 12-8 No. 8 Brandon (Feb 6-7). Alberta’s final four games: @ 12-8 No. 8 Brandon (Jan 30-31), vs 4-16 Mount Royal (Feb 6-7).

Cougars to this point: With just four wins on the year MRU ended a four game skid on Friday in Kamloops taking out TRU in three straight sets. The Cougars have also won in Winnipeg versus the Wesmen and at home they have beaten: Brandon in a battle of Cats, and MacEwan for their four wins.

Head to Head (3-1, Reg Seas. 0-2 Post Seas.): These two new to Canada West squads have been close competitors, both teams making the postseason and playing each other for the first time in their CIS histories. The Cougars got the best of the host Heat twice in five sets to advance, in the regular season UBC Okanagan have won three of four, with their only loss coming in five at Kenyon Court on Nov. 10, 2012.

Outstanding Cougar: 2013/14’s team MVP, Fallon Middlemiss is having another stellar season. The fifth year, left side hitter leads the team in points per set (3.4), ninth in the conference, kills per set (2.84), digs (214) and total points (255).

Kills / set  Hitting % (min 50 att.)  Digs / set  Aces / set  Blocks / set 
Brianna Beamish 3.22 Katie Wuttunee .357 Kailin Jones 3.36 Megan Festival .49 Katy Klomps 1.56
Megan Festival 2.56 Katy Klomps .327 Megan Festival 2.68 Emily Oxland .35 Katie Wuttunee 0.74
Katie Wuttunee 2.26 Brianna Beamish .209 Brianna Beamish 1.85 Myrte Schon .30 Kaitlynn Given 0.66
Kills per set Hitting % (min 50 att.)  Digs / set  Aces / set Blocks / set
Fallon Middlemiss 2.84 Jenna Smith  .325 Alex Runge 3.05 Fallon Middlemiss .30 Kylie Willis 1.08
Mikayla Fritzke 2.56 Marni MacKay .195 Fallon Middlemiss 2.89 Jenna Smith .29 Marni MacKay 1.07
Robyn Potolicki 1.55 Fallon Middlemiss .185 Carolyn O’Dwyer 2.17 Mikayla Fritzke .27 Nicky Zalasky 0.92

MOUNT ROYAL COUGARS (6-22, 4-16 Canada West)             SCHEDULE | ROSTER | STATS
CIS National Ranking: N/A
CanWest Standings: 13th
Last week: 1-1; Fri W (3-0); Sat W (3-1); at TRU
Streak: 1 loss
2013-14 conference record:  7-15
2014 CW playoffs: N/A
2014 CIS tournament: N/A
Last CW title: N/A
Last CIS title: N/A
preseason preview courtesy of

Key additions: Toni Vandenbrink, Amy Gordon, Taylor Pelland, Alex Runge
Key returnees: Fallon Middlemiss, Carolyn O’Dwyer, Kylie Willis, Jenna Smith
Key departures: Julia Pasieka, Tayler Smith, Julie Deveson, Mackenzie Allen

CALGARY – The women’s volleyball program took a step backward last season after a successful Canada West debut in 2012-13 that saw them get all the way to the Canada West final four. Inconsistent play and the inability to win close games plagued the Cougars last year resulting in a 7-15 season. In 2014-15 the Cougars will have to rely less on their stars and begin to grind out close games if they want to make some noise this season.

Much like the men’s team the Cougars will lose three of their six starters from last season. Mackenzie Allen, Julia Pasieka and Tayler Smith all played their final season for the Cougars in 2014, with Allen securing a professional contract in Denmark this season. Pasieka and Allen were models of consistency, playing all five years at MRU. When Mount Royal moved to the Canada West conference from the ACAC, they were the ones on the court that helped stabilize the transition.

Carolyn O’Dwyer and last year’s team MVP Fallon Middlemiss will take on leadership roles on the court this season for the Cougars. Jenna Smith, who worked under Allen last season, will take over the setting duties this season.

Coach Sandra Lamb brought in some solid recruits this season from all over western Canada including British Columbia, Alberta and Manitoba. Toni Vandenbrink came to the Cougars from Douglas College in the PacWest conference. Nicky Zalasky, Danielle Fritzke, Taylor Pelland and Alex Runge all come to Mount Royal from the provincial level in Alberta. Amy Gordon, out of Neelin High School, was the Brandon High School Player of the Year.

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