File photos for UBC Okanagan Heat athletics

KAMLOOPS, BC: For the second straight outing the UBC Okanagan men’s volleyball team jumped out to take the first set but the Thompson Rivers University WolfPack took the next three to win their eighth straight match.

The Heat fell On Saturday night on the Warner Rentals court at the Tournament Capital Centre to the Kamloops squad who swept the season series after the 3-1 (19-25-,25-19,25-22,25-20) result.

Heat’s fifth year outside Lars Bornemann finished with 12 kills upping his career total to 1251 which now puts him just 10 away from setting the school’s record surpassing Nate Speijer (1260) as the all-time leader.

At the Christmas break, the chances of the Thompson Rivers University WolfPack  making the Canada West playoffs in men’s volleyball were remote.

Now that is not the case. The WolfPack have clinched a playoff spot after winning their eighth straight match.

The WolfPack have a .500 record (11-11).  They sit in the seventh and final playoff spot in the Canada West. Saskatchewan and Manitoba are next at 9-13 with two matches left in the regular season. The Heat drop to 5-17, falling for the 12th straight time.

First set
The Heat took advantage and took the first set 25-19. Lars Bornemann (5th year, outside hitter, Victoria, BC)  and Adam Kern (4th year, middle, West Kelowna, BC)  leading UBCO with four kills apiece.  Joshua Mullaney (3rd year, outside hitter, Calgary, AB) was the top gunner for the Pack with four kills in nine chances.

Second set
Thompson Rivers regrouped and took the second set by the same 25-19 score. Charlie Bringloe (3rd year, outside hitter, Waterloo, ON) led the way with five kills on nine opportunities in the set. Landon Currie (1st year, libero, Vernon, BC) chipped in with four digs. Kern was UBCO’s main offensive threat with four kills in six attempts.

Third set
The WolfPack captured the third set getting five kills a piece from Bringloe and Jordon Foot (5th year, middle, Prince George, BC)  Bornemann had five kills in eight swings for the Heat.

Fourth set
In the fourth, TRU got to the technical time out first leading 16-15 and went onto a five point victory led by Mullaney with four kills in six chances.


Heat Coach Brad Hudson (2nd season):

On match: “it was a good match. Lots of young people on the floor, when that happens it gets excitable.”

TRU head coach Pat Hennelly:

On whether in December he thought they would make the post season: “People kept asking me if we had a chance. I said we do but we have to win. I said eight of the first 10 but we won 9 of 10. Hats off to the guys, they kept putting the time in and didn’t get discouraged. It is a great run. As a coach you want to be positive, but in our league you don’t think you can go eight in a row and 9 out of 10. Some tough teams who really wanted to win. The big one was Saskatchewan. If they would have beat us twice, they would have clinched and we would have been hoping Manitoba would have lost. That was a huge one.”

Character win tonight without Dobbert:  “Oh ya. Best player on our team. One of the best players in the league. Charlie (Bringloe) steps up. Jordan Foot steps up. We talked about it on Thursday when we had to sub him out and guys had to come in. It is a character win. I think Dobbert could have gone tonight. That is not my style to get guys to go out of their comfort zone when they are sort of hurt. As a group, as part of development, we needed this. We needed a game where other guys had to step up. Tim is like a safety blanket. He makes big plays when it’s needed. Thursday he went on a 6-0 serving run and a couple of kills. For other guys to do that, it makes us stronger not only for this year but down the road.”

~ With notes from Larry Read, Thompson Rivers Sports Information