CALGARY, AB – The UBC Okanagan women’s volleyball will now have to win the next two games to advance to their fourth straight Canada West Final Four after losing in three sets to the University of Calgary.
The visiting Heat fell by set scores of (25-21, 25-23, 25-13) and now trail by one match in the best-of-three Canada West Quarter-final series on Friday night at the Jack Simpson Gymnasium in Calgary.
Match two between these two teams is on Saturday night (Mar. 4) with first serve at 5 p.m. PST in the ‘Jack’.
Siobhan Fitzpatrick, in her first Canada West post season start, opened the match with two straight kills and finished with a team-high 10 kills on 18 swings (.278) for the Heat.
Siobhan’s hot start was undone by a 4-0 run that gave the Dinos the lead 12-8 and forced a Heat timeout. The home team led at the technical timeout at 16-11 and then at 22-16 before the Heat would go on a 5-1 and cut the lead to 23-21. That’s as close as UBCO would get in the first set and Calgary prevailed 25-21.
Second year middle Aidan Lea and fourth year outside hitter Michelle Jakszuk each finished with eight kills for UBC Okanagan. Senior setter Emily Oxland had a game-high 28 assists and seven digs and one of the three Heat aces on the night.
Both teams played some great offense in the second set as the Dinos finished with 15 kills on 26 attempts (.462) and the Heat were just behind them with 15 kills on 27 attempts (.444).
With both teams firing on all cylinders neither team could gain much separation to start the second set as the Dinos went into the technical timeout with a slim two-point lead at 16-14. With the Heat only down one at 23-22, Brianna Solberg gave the Dinos set point with a kill. This was followed by a Hannah Tanasichuk and Jaylynn Moffatt combo block to win the second set 25-23 for the home team.
After a quick 4-3 lead in the third set the Dinos would take control after a 10-1 run and finish the set 25-13 and the match (3-0).
Despite the straight set loss not a lot separated the two squads on the stat sheet with a slight edge to Calgary over UBC Okanagan in most categories: Kills (37-36), attack errors (11-18), assists (34-34), digs (26-25), blocks (8-5), aces (5-3), points (50-44), and hitting percentage (.342-.217).
Individually it was outside hitter Kate Pexman and middle Jaylynn Moffatt who led the way for Calgary. Pexman finished with a match-high 12 kills on .550 hitting and Moffatt nine kills on an efficient 12 swings and four blocks.
~ Oliver Rizun, UBC Okanagan