KELOWNA, B.C. – In a match that went back-and-forth all night long, the Heat would fall just short against the Brandon Bobcats as they dropped the match in five sets.
A convincing 25-14 fourth set victory from the Heat would push the match into five and while the Heat led early 7-6, the Bobcats would score seven of the ensuing eight points to capture the fifth 15-11. This was the first five-set match the Heat played all season while the Bobcats had only played one five-setter prior to this game.
Brandon improves their Canada West record to 3-6 so far while the Heat are now at 1-8 in conference play following the tight loss.
Three Heat attackers finished in double-figures in terms of kills in the match, led by Ann Richards who had 13 kills to go with 11 digs for a double-double. Middle Aidan Lea (11) and rookie Sydney Grills (10) would also pace the UBCO attack.
Nikala Majewski was the focal point of the ‘Cats attack all night as she had a team-high 18 kills along with nine digs and three service aces. The visitors would have 11 service aces in the match led by Jamie Bain with four.
The two teams would be fairly even on the stat sheet in most the important categories. The Heat had the slight advantage in terms of total kills (52-51), blocks (13-12) and hitting percentage (.218 – .174), while Brandon had more service aces (11-10) and fewer reception errors (11-9).
These two teams will be back on the floor tomorrow night in Kelowna with the first-serve set for 5 p.m. PST in the UBC Okanagan Gym and on canadawest.tv.
Heat head coach Steve Manuel following the defeat noted his team just be been unable to put things together. “We still just haven’t been able to find that consistent rhythm as a team, all we can do is keeping plugging away and it’ll either come or it won’t, that’s all we can do.”
Six straight Heat points would tie the set up at 23 all in the first but a kill from Jamie Bean gave them an opportunity at set point and they would capitalize on a hitting error from the hometown Heat to take the opener 25-23.
It was a fast start in the second frame for UBCO, they led 16-10 at the media timeout, and while the Bobcats cut the deficit to just one at 21-20, the Heat closed out the set strong by winning four of the final five points.
The ‘Cats would score the first point of the third and never relinquish the lead throughout the set. They led 16-12 at the technical timeout and built upon this by closing out the third 25-18 and taking a 2-1 set lead on the Heat.
In one of their best set performances of the season, the Heat scored nine straight points early in the fourth frame and built a big lead that would be too much to overcome for the visiting Bobcats. The UBCO attack would fire 12 kills on 27 total attacks in the set and had just three total errors.
A big swing from Sydney Grills gave UBCO the early 4-3 lead in the fifth but this would be the last time in the match they would hold the advantage. Brandon scored four straight points to lead 7-4 and score five straight later on to take the 13-7 advantage. This would be good enough for the visitors to capture their third win of the season by a 15-11 fifth set scoreline.
~ Oliver Rizun, Heat Sports Information