KELOWNA, BC – It took extra points in the third set but the UBC Okanagan Heat got the win in the minimum against the visiting Thompson Rivers WolfPack on Saturday night in Canada West men’s volleyball action in Kelowna.
With the win the Heat improve to 7-15 on the season. The school record for wins in a season since entering the Canada West is eight and they will have a chance to tie or beat that record next weekend, their final two games of the year.
The Heat finish off their regular season again the MacEwan Griffins (4-18) on Friday and Saturday night (Feb. 24-25) in Kelowna. Saturday will be Seniors Night as the Heat honour this season’s two graduating players, Alex Swiatlowski and Grant Sonnenberg.
The ‘Pack fall to 2-20 on the season and close out the year on the road in Saskatoon against the Huskies.
Lars Bornemann finished with a game-high 17 kills for the hometown team with Devon Cote finishing in double figure in kills with 11. Eli Risso led the way once again for the Heat defence with 11 digs. His season total of 254 is the high mark at UBC Okanagan for a single season and the fifth highest total in Canada West history. Blair Bann from UBC has the record of 283 (2010-11), but Jeremy Davies from Brandon has 282 on the year and is set to surpass Bann for top spot next weekend.
The hometown Heat led from the start in the first set thanks to 11 kills in the frame. The Heat led 16-11 at the technical timeout and never relinquished the lead en route to a 25-23 win.
Neither team could gain much separation in a tight second set as the Heat led 16-15 at the technical timeout. The Heat extended their lead and would close out the second with a cheeky Lars Bornemann tip to win the second set 25-21.
Off to a quick start in the third set UBCO led 10-6 early on, but the WolfPack bounced back to tie the game up at 10-10. Another quick 4-0 run forced a ‘Pack timeout with the Heat once again up four, at 14-10. The WolfPack bounced back again and made it a one-point game at the technical timeout, 16-15. After a 5-1 run by the team from Kamloops the Heat were forced to call a timeout with the score 20-17 for the visiting WolfPack. The third set would go to extra points, and after multiple opportunities to finish the game Lars Bornemann provided the game-winning kill to end an exciting third set with the final score 29-27.
The WolfPack were led by Daniel Eikland Rod who finished with a team-high 11 kills and Randy Grundmann chipped in with 10 kills of his own. Cole Keddie finished with 11 digs for the visitors on defence.
The Heat had the advantage on the stat sheet as they led in kills (43-35), hitting percentage (.239-.119), total blocks (10-5) and had five fewer attack errors (17-22).
NOTES: Prior to the match the Presidents’ Cup ceremony took place, TRU men’s volleyball head coach Michael Hawkins presented Thompson Rivers President Dr. Allan Shaver with the men’s cup.
~ Oliver Rizun, UBC Okanagan