The UBC Okanagan Heat and the Brandon Bobcats faced off in Kelowna to open their conference seasons Friday night. Heat took the match in four sets behind Megan Festival's 6 aces. Rematch Saturday at 5 p.m.

KELOWNA, BC – The UBC Okanagan Heat defeated the Brandon University Bobcats 3-1 in women’s volleyball action Friday night in the UBC Okanagan Gymnasium.

Set Scores: 16-25, 25-19, 25-22, 25-18.

Brandon took the first set, before the Heat won three straight to earn their first win of the 2016/17 Canada West season.

The Heat finished with 46 kills to Brandon’s 39, and 11 service aces against just three for the visiting Bobcats.

The UBC Okanagan attack was led by fifth year outside hitter Megan Festival, who put away 13 kills in the match, and third year outside hitter Siobhan Fitzpatrick, who finished with 12. Festival also had an impressive six service aces. Fourth year Bobcats middle Courtney Roberts led the Brandon attack, also earning 13 kills in the match.

Fourth year Heat middle blocker Erin Drew led the match with six blocks, and fourth year Bobcats setter Mary Thompson had the most assists in the match with 33.

Brandon took the first set 25-16. The Bobcats held the advantage in both kills and attack percentage in the first frame, earning 14 kills and hitting .429 against the Heat’s 11 kills and .094. The opening set saw the Bobcats jump out to an early lead at 5-0, and never let up. The Heat fought back to close the score to 19-14, but the Bobcats closed out thanks to a late service run from Carmen Ross and kills from Breanne Stynyk and Ravyn Wiebe.

The Heat took the second set 25-19, tying the match up at 1-1. The first UBC Okanagan lead of the match came at 2-1 in the second set on a second consecutive kill from Megan Festival. The Heat still held a lead at the switch, up 16-14, and stretched it to the biggest margin of the set 22-16. Capitalizing on a number of service and attack errors by the Bobcats, UBC Okanagan took a 24-19 lead, before Erin Drew put the set away on a service ace. Siobhan Fitzpatrick led all hitters with five kills in the set.

The Heat won again in the third set, 25-22, to take the 2-1 lead in the match. The third frame saw the Heat take an early lead again, but after three different ties and lead changes the Bobcats held a 16-13 lead at the break. That lead was extended to 18-13, before a pair of service aces from Megan Festival and a kill by Michelle Jakszuk brought the Heat within one at 18-17. A well-placed time-out from Heat head coach Steve Manuel started UBC Okanagan on a three-point service run by Skye Thompson that gave her side a 21-20 lead. The next four points saw the lead change hands twice more, with the Heat up 23-22. A service ace from Emily Oxland and a kill by Siobhan Fitzpatrick closed out the set for the Heat.

UBC Okanagan closed out the match with a 25-18 win in the 4th set. The first play of the set saw the Heat take the lead on a kill by Kaitlynn Given, and they never gave it up. The Bobcats tied the set twice, at 1-1 and 3-3, but after that the Heat had a decisive advantage. Megan Festival crushed her 13th kill on the night to give the Heat the final point of the match.

The UBC Okanagan Heat (1-0) and the Brandon University Bobcats (0-1) will meet again tomorrow evening, with the match set to start at 5PM PT.