Kelowna, B.C. – Coming off their first bye week of the season, the Heat women’s volleyball team prevailed in just 1 hour and 15 minutes against the visiting Regina Cougars on Friday night in three a set win.
With the win the U SPORTS fourth ranked UBC Okanagan squad move to 7-2 on the season which has them tied for second place in the Canada West behind only the Calgary Dinos. The U of R fall below .550 to 5-6 on the season.
The service game for both teams was a strong source of offense. Both the Heat and the Cougs’ served the ball extremely well as they combined for 20 service aces in only three sets. Siobhan Fitzpatrick from UBCO and Regina’s Satomi Togawa tied for match high with both spinning for three aces a piece. Michelle Jakszuk led the way for the home team as she had nine kills along with a team-high six total blocks. Three Regina Cougars, Kathleen Ens, Jessica Lerminiaux, and Haley Wagar, had seven kills to share tops amongst the visitors.
Sara McCreary started the game off with an ace an the hometown Heat would continue their strong play early on to and following a huge Michelle Jakszuk solo block the Cougars were forced to take a timeout with the score 10-3. The visitors would comeback strong however and just past halfway through the first set the Heat led by just two at 14-12. This would be as close as the visitors would get in the first set and the Heat would win the first 25-20. The Heat offense was on point as they hit .440 in the first compared to just .226 for the Cougs’
Once again the Heat got off to a strong start in the second as they led 7-1 but the Cougars would bounce back and cut the lead to just three at the technical timeout (16-13). The Heat would maintain this lead until 20-17, but the visitors would score four straight points to take the lead 21-20 and force a timeout from Steve Manuel. This timeout would provide a spark for the home team as they would score the last five points on the second set including a Skye Thompson ace and a combination block from Aidan Lea and Sara McCreary
This time it was the Cougars who would get off to a hot start and lead 5-2 following a kill from Ashlee Sandiford. Eight off the next nine points would go the Heat’s way though as they would take a four point lead (10-6) following another Michelle Jakszuk kill. Just over halfway through the third set the visiting Cougs’ would tie the game up at 14 all but that lead would be short-lived. The Heat would go on a 5-1 run to put the third set all but out of reach. The third set would finish 25-20 UBCO.
– Aidan Lea came into the game leading the conference in hitting percentage and continued her strong play as she finished with seven kills and a .385 hitting percentage along with a service ace.
– Ann Richards would have five kills in the match along with three total blocks, three digs and two service aces.
– Sarah McCreary would finish the game with a team-high 24 assists for the home team. The second year setter came into the game second in the Canada West in assists per set at just over 10 a game.
Inside the numbers:
– Both teams would hit below their average on the night as the Heat would hit .184 while the Cougars would hit .104
– The Heat defense was up to the task as they would have seven more blocks (10-3) then Regina
– The visiting Cougs’ would have twice as many attack errors as the Heat (24-12) along with five more service errors (9-4)