Heat eye National Championship following conference semifinal loss to Thunderbirds


Vancouver, BC – It was a tough night for the Heat women’s volleyball team as they would fall in straight sets to the UBC Thunderbirds in the War Memorial Gym.

The Heat were unable to get things going on the night as the Thunderbirds service game was a tough task to handle. Although the T-birds had just five service aces, their were numerous occasions where the Heat weren’t able to control the ball cleanly thanks to the hard serving birds’.

With the loss the Heat now get over a week of rest and practice time before heading the Laval, Quebec with their first match being played on March.16th for the USPORTS National Championship.

First set: 19-25

UBC jumped out to a 7-2 first set lead forcing Heat head coach Steve Manuel to call his first timeout which sparked the visitors to three straight points to climb within 7-5. As the frame progressed Gabrielle Attieh’s second kill increased the ‘Birds lead to 19-15 causing a second UBCO timeout before T-Birds coach Doug Reimer would have to call one of his own with the Heat narrowing the gap to 21-18. Attieh’s third kill in the opener would set up set point at 24-19 ahead of Victoria Behie tooling a block to secure the first set 25-19. Furlan enjoyed a set high five kills while Attieh and Behie chipped in with three each. Leading the way for the Heat was Erin Drew with an impressive four service aces and three kills.

Second set: 18-25

In the second set UBC enjoyed leads of 5-2 & 13-8 ahead of a UBCO timeout, the Heat’s Aiden Lee would later deliver a resounding middle block to pull within 15-11 but UBC’s Ciara Hanly would respond with big middle block of her own and a 16-11 advantage at the technical timeout. Attieh and Van Ryk Kills would lead to a 24-18 set point lead ahead of the Heat attack going long to drop a second straight frame 25-18. Furlan delivered four more kills and Van Ryk added three to her total while Samantha Patko chipped in with five digs. Stepping up for the Heat was Michelle Jakszuk with four kills and four digs.

Third set: 17-25

A 10-1 run in the early stages of the third set would be enough for the Thunderbirds to close out the match as they cruised in the final frame to close out the match.

Individual performances:

UBC Okanagan:

Michelle Jakszuk would lead the way for the Heat once again on the night as the Gibsons product had a team-high six kills along with 12 digs.

– Setter Sara McCreary would fall just shy of a double-double in the match as she had 15 assists along with eight digs.


– Second year outside hitter Olivia Furlan piled up 12 kills on the night to lead the home team.

– First-team all-star Kiera Van Ryk also finished in double-digits for the T-birds as she finished with 10 kills in the match along with six digs.

Inside the numbers:

– The service game of the Thunderbirds would allow the Heat to just 23 assists in the match which was their lowest output of the season.

– UBC would finish with 45 kills in the match on a .225 hitting percentage while the Heat hit just .045.

~ Oliver Rizun, Heat sports information with notes from Stu Walters, Senior Manager, Communications and Media Relations

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