KELOWNA, B.C. — The UBC Okanagan Heat men’s volleyball team got their preseason schedule underway with a match at home against their rivals from Vancouver, the UBC Thunderbirds. The inter-institution rivalry is a high point of the Canada West schedules, and a strong place to start an exhibition season. Against the perennial title-contending Thunderbirds on Thursday night, the Heat fell in four sets, with set scores of 25-22, 18-25, 25-16, and 25-20.

Kills were 46-34 for the Thunderbirds, who also led in hitting percentage (.231 – .152), service aces (5-1), and digs (39-32). The Heat finished ahead in total blocks (18-16).

First Appearances:

Heat players seeing their first Canada West action on Thursday night were freshmen Morgan Nichols (setter), Caleb Funk (middle), and two transfers, Lucas Robertson (setter), Tristan Simmond (outside hitter).

Key Performances:

Devon Cote finished leading the Heat with eight kills, Jon Russo finished with 10 assists and a service ace, Kyle Hinchey pulled up 10 digs, and Joshua Harvey finished with five total blocks.

Local returns home:

George Elliot graduate this past spring, Fynn McCarthy made his CW debut for the visiting Thunderbird. The Coyote spent his summer with Team Canada and and Junior National Team.

What’s Next:

The UBC Okanagan Heat will play their next preseason matches in a three-match stint against local rivals the Thompson Rivers WolfPack on September 28-30. The UBC Thunderbirds will have their next exhibition against the TRU WolfPack as well, hosting them on September 21. These matches were a preview of the conference regular season opener. The T-Birds will be back in Kelowna to open the CW season October 20-21.