KELOWNA, BC – The UBC Okanagan Heat defeated the Brandon University Bobcats 3-1 in their first match of the 2016 Canada West regular season.
Not only was the win for the Heat the first of the conference season but also for new Heat head coach Brad Hudson it was his first win in the Canada West conference, after an extremely successful career with Douglas College.
The Heat finished ahead both in score and statistics. They had 51 kills to the Bobcats’ 48, hit .220 on the attack while Brandon hit .141, and had a 27-13 advantage in blocks.
UBC Okanagan’s Lars Bornemann led all hitters in the match, finishing with 18 kills on the night. Roy Ching led Brandon with 14 kills. Joshua Harvey of the Heat led the match in blocks, finishing with nine, Heat libero Eli Risso led the match with 22 digs, and Brandon’s Reece Dixon had the most assists in the match with 41.
The opening set went to Brandon, 25-21. It was back and forth all the way through, with the score tied 14 different times and seven lead changes. Fifth year Bobcats left side hitter Roy Ching took over late in the set, with his team down one. He scored a kill to tie the set at 21, followed that up with a service ace, then another ace two serves later, putting together a four-point service run to close out the frame. Fifth year Heat outside hitter Alex Swiatlowski and the Bobcats’ Roy Ching each had five kills in the first set.
The second set was taken by UBC Okanagan, 25-20. The second frame was just as close as the first for a while, with the Bobcats ahead until the Heat went on a five-point run to take a lead, 18-14. Kills from third year setter Ethan Freund, fourth year outside hitter Lars Bornemann, and fifth year middle Joshua Harvey provided three of those five set-changing points. A service error by third year Bobcats’ left side hitter Brady Nault provided the last point for the Heat. Bornemann led all hitters in the set with four kills.
UBC Okanagan took the third set 25-21. Once again the play went back and forth in the first half of the set, but once the Heat took the lead at 10-9 they never let it go. Three different three-point runs were the difference, as the Heat had the advantage through the second half of the set. As in the second set a Bobcats error, this time a bad set by second year setter Reece Dixon, was the final point of the set. Bornemann again led the Heat attack in the set, earning six kills.
The Heat won the fourth set 25-21. Both teams had leads and went on runs in the final set, but a four-point run by the Heat to take a 22-18 lead made the difference in the match-clinching set. All four of the points came on Brandon attack errors, as they couldn’t find their swing in the final moments of the match. The final point was scored on a massive kill by Lars Bornemann.
The Heat (1-0) and the Bobcats (0-1) will play again tomorrow evening in the UBC Okanagan gymnasium. The second of this weekend’s matches is set to start at 7 p.m. PT.