Tough three set loss for Heat men

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Kelowna, B.C. – The UBC Okanagan Heat men’s volleyball team fell in straight sets on Friday night against their higher ranked opponents, the University of Winnipeg Wesmen. With the loss, the Heat fall to 5-14 and will have to win out and get some help to make the playoffs.

The second set proved to be the turning point, as the Heat led 24-21 but could not capitalize on the opportunity and would fall two sets down. Winnipeg also clinched a playoff spot with the victory on Friday night with five games still remaining on the schedule.

With two starters sidleined on Friday night, the undermanned home team did a good job of shuffling in fresh faces, but the loss of firepower hampered UBC Okanagan when looking to find that extra gear and close out a set against the eight ranked team in the country.

First Set: (25-23)

Winnipeg opened the game with a quick lead that put them seven points up on the Heat. After a great save by Eli Risso, the Heat began to close the gap on the powerful Wesmen team. The Heat caught up to the Wesmen at 18 points each, and surpassed them, forcing the Winnipeg coach to call a time out. After a heart-racing last few points, the Wesmen pulled past UBCO and won the set.

Second Set: (26-24)

After a tough loss in the first set, the Heat came into the second with a different energy, allowing them to gather a six-point lead on the Wesmen. The Wesmen would fight back however, but a Max Heppel kill would give the Heat a 20-17 advantage late on. This three point lead would hold up until 24-21 and then home team would have a chance to close out the set. The Heat would be unable to find that final point however, as four straight attack errors would give Winnipeg set point at 25-24 and Daniel Thiessen would put the second away after a kill.

Third Set: (25-17)

The final set would be all Wesmen throughout as the visitors scored the first two points and never looked back. Even though UBCO were almost able to match Winnipeg in kills (10-11), it was not enough to help them win the set.

Key Performers:

UBC Okanagan:

Lars Bornemann led the Heat with a game-high 20 kills on the night.

– Freshman Morgan Nichols finished with 32 assists and eight digs. Eli Risso had a game high 18 digs to take over top spot in teh confernece with 180 total digs and 2.65 digs per set.

Winnipeg:

– Ethan Duncan led his team to victory with 18.5 points, 12 kills, and a hitting percentage of .611. Daniel Thiessen led Winnipeg with 13 kills, and a hitting percentage of .290.

Special Saturday night

– Two fifth year players will be celebrated prior to their match on Saturday night as Lars Bornemann and Joshaua Harvey wind up their career with UBCO.

Milestones

 – Lars Bornemann with his 20 kills on Friday night has surpassed 1200 kills for his career, Lars is onl the second player at UBC Okanagan to surpass that mark. His total of 1212 trails only Nate Speijer’s 1260 at this school.  Lars is only the eighth player in Canada West that surpassed 1200 kills. Speier played threes seasons in the PacWest.

By the Numbers:

– Both teams tied in the number of kills (40) and assists (39). UBCO led in attacks (109-101) and digs (44-42) whereas Winnipeg led in total blocks (10-5).

Next Up:

– The UBC Okanagan Heat (5-13) and University of Winnipeg Wesmen (11-7) will face off again tomorrow night at 7 p.m. PST in the UBC Okanagan gym.

 ~ Cole Tweed, Heat Sports Information

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