After an impressive 4-0 start to the season, the UBC Okanagan Heat ran into a Manitoba road block in Canada West women’s volleyball action.
In Brandon, the Bobcats swept both ends of a weekend doubleheader to hand Steve Manuel’s crew its first losses of the 2013-14 CIS campaign.
On Friday, the No. 5-ranked Heat took two sets to find their legs but it was too late as Brandon prevailed 3-1 (25-21, 25-22, 20-25, 25-22).
Kaitlyn Given led UBC Okanagan’s attack 13 kills and three service aces.
On Saturday, the Heat struggled to generate offense, going down to defeat 3-0 (25-10, 25-18, 25-22) to the Bobcats.
The Bobcats, the No. 6 ranked team in the nation, were more than happy to take advantage of the Heat’s offensive woes, pounding 37 kills at a 23-percent clip.
Given, the second year outside hitter from KSS, again paced UBC Okanagan with eight kills. Megan Festival, another second year outside hitter, had seven kills as well, but as a team the Heat only mustered five blocks.
“It was a tough road trip, against a hot Brandon team,” said Heat coach Steve Manuel. We showed our youth this weekend and that’s ok. We lost two matches on the road to a top ranked CIS team,” explained coach Manuel. “We will regroup and carry on, lots of great things to come from this team.”
UBC Okanagan will travel to Saskatoon for a pair of games with the Saskatchewan Huskies this Friday and Saturday.
The UBCO men put up a fight both nights but came up empty in the two-match visit to Brandon.
On Friday, a wild third set went Brandon’s way as the Bobcats eventually emerged with a 3-1 (25-19, 19-25, 34-32, 25-19) win.
The Heat’s Nate Speijer finished with a game-high 18 kills, while Lars Bornemann and Kyle Pankratz added 12 and 11 kills respectively.
On Saturday, the Heat rang up a convincing win in the first set only to lose the next three as the Bobcats again prevailed 3-1 (25-15, 17-25, 15-25, 21-25).
The Heat was successful on 23-percent of their attacks, but was betrayed at the net where they could muster only seven team blocks. At the service line the Heat committed 13 service errors.
With a relative lack of experience, head coach Greg Poitras explained that his team’s “overall youth showed” as the Bobcats “made adjustments and taught us a lesson on execution.”
Speijer had 17 kills Saturday while setter Kristof Schlagintweit racked up 31 assists.
The Heat (1-5) will travel Saskatoon this weekend to play the Saskatchewan Huskies this upcoming Friday and Saturday.