KELOWNA, BC – In the second of this weekend's matches between the UBC Okanagan Heat and the UBC Thunderbirds, the visiting Thunderbirds were able to take it 3-1 and finish out a clean weekend win.
The rivalry between the two schools' athletic programs was in full effect on Saturday night, with celebrations and noise in abundance. The Thunderbirds were hitting well once again through most of the match, and the Heat played their best volleyball of the night in the third set, hitting .226 and finishing with 12 kills. It was their lone set win of the night, and second of the weekend.
The Heat led for much of the early half of the first set, but six straight points by the Thunderbirds put them ahead late at 23-16, before a kill from Irvan Brar and a Heat service error provided the final two points and put the visitors up 1-0.
A scoring run early for UBC, when they scored 10 of 12 points, put them ahead 13-8. Up 16-10 at the technical time-out, they scored five of their final six points on impressive kills to close out the second set win.
The Heat came out swinging early in the third set, jumping ahead early and going up 11-5 after a pair of three-point runs. The only lead the Thunderbirds held in the set was after they scored the first point, at 1-0, and despite a late push to come within a point at 20-19 it was Kyle Hinchey and Lars Bornemann putting it away with a pair of kills for the Heat to make it two sets to one.
The Thunderbirds scored four straight early to pull ahead 8-5, before the Heat tied it up 8-8 and then pulled ahead 11-9 with a couple of runs of their own. The 'Birds were up again, 16-15 at the technical time-out, and after a pair of lead changes were a point away from closing out the match, up 24-21. The Heat earned serve after a tricky kill from setter Lucas Robertson, but a big swing by ?? killed the final point and gave UBC their second win of the weekend.
Kyle Hinchey and Lars Bornemann were again the leaders for the Heat attack as they were on Friday night. Bornemann had a team-high 10 kills on Saturday night, hitting .161, while Hinchey had seven on .235, and Devon Cote put away seven on .200. Lucas Robertson and Jon Russo each finished in double digits for assists, with 21 and 10. Defensively it was Eli Risso and Caleb Funk leading the way, with nine digs and three total blocks respectively.
For the Thunderbirds, Irvan Brar was the most effective hitter on the night, finishing up in the win with 17 kills on a .481 hitting percentage. Joel Regehr and Mat Guidi rounded out the top three attackers for UBC, with eight kills apiece.
On the defensive half for the visitors it was Tyson Smith leading the way in digs with 18, and Byron Keturakis had the most total blocks with four.
By the Numbers
The Thunderbirds had the more successful night at the offensive net, putting away 53 kills on a team hitting percentage of .287 and keeping the Heat to 38 on .173. Errors were pretty much even across the board, with neither team giving much away with mistakes. There were 20 attacking errors apiece and neither side had a blocking error, while the Heat finished with just one more receiving error (6-5) and four fewer service errors (14-18).
Total blocks were 10-7 for UBC, who also finished just ahead in service aces, 6-5.
The UBC Okanagan Heat (0-2) will be on the road next weekend, travelling to Langley to take on the Trinity Western Spartans (2-0) in a pair of matches on Friday, October 27 an on Saturday, October 28.
The UBC Thunderbirds (2-0) have their bye week scheduled for next weekend, and so will play next in their home opener matches against the Calgary Dinos (2-0) on Friday, November 3 and Saturday, November 4.
~ Grayson B. Leahy, Heat Sports Information