WINNIPEG, MB – The UBC Okanagan Heat women’s volleyball team earned their first road win of the new year with a 3-0 victory in the Dr. David F. Anderson Gymnasium over the Winnipeg Wesmen. Set scores were 25-13, 25-11, and 25-22. The Heat improve their Canada West record to 9-4, and the Wesmen fall to 1-12.
UBCO’s Aidan Lea continued her impressive season with a .818 hitting percentage in the match, while Siobhan Fitzpatrick led the Heat with eight kills and seven digs. Erin Drew added seven kills on the Heat attack. For Winnipeg, Danika Picklyk and Karissa Kuhr had seven kills apiece while libero Madison Fyvie had the match high with 11 digs.
The first set started out with the teams evenly matched, as they were tied at 4-4. Kuhr and Alex Rose kickstarted the offence for Winnipeg, each earning two kills early on. A 5-0 Heat run opened up the lead for the visitors, and they maintained that five-point lead into the technical time-out, 16-11. Another run by the Heat, this time putting away nine straight points, closed out the set, with the Heat taking it 25-13.
The UBCO women continued to roll on the attack, finishing the second set with a .565 hitting percentage. They also only had two attack errors, and area that has been causing the Heat a lot of problems in their past few matches. Up 16-7 at the technical time-out, they rolled to a 25-11 set victory with Kaitlynn Given sealing it with a service ace for the 25th point.
The Heat started strong again in the third, going up 4-0. They then went on a 6-1 run to go up 12-5, and were up 16-10 at the technical time-out. Winnipeg fought back after the break, pulling within two at 18-16, to which Heat head coach Steve Manuel responded by calling a time-out. UBCO managed to take it to match point at 24-19, but the Wesmen extended it with three straight points to pull within two at 24-22. That was as close as they would come though, as Siobhan Fitzpatrick buried a kill to score the final point.
The Heat and the Wesmen will play again Saturday night, with first serve scheduled for 6:30 p.m. local time in Winnipeg, 4:30 p.m. Pacific Time.
~ Grayson Leahy, UBC Okanagan