EDMONTON – The UBC Okanagan Heat earned a victory against the MacEwan Griffins in the first of two matches this weekend, taking the Friday night contest 3-1 to improve their record to 2-5.
The match was even throughout for the most part, as exemplified right off the top with an opening set that went well into extra points. The Heat would take that opener, and the second in more dominant fashion, before dropping the third. Bouncing back impressively after that third set loss, the Heat shut down any would-be comeback by the home side with a match-clinching 25-18 win.
That final set was a prime example of the Heat's potential to close out a win, as they put down 12 kills while holding the Griffins to getting just five kills on a hitting percentage of .000
First Set: (30-28)
Despite finishing behind in kills in the opener, 16-13, the Heat were able to make two of those really count, burying back-to-back points to close out the extended frame.
UBCO were behind for most of the early part of the set, down 10-6 before a five-point run gave them the lead. The Cougars were up 16-13 at the technical time-out.
Closely contested all the way through, the remainder of the set saw numerous ties and lead changes. The Heat had set point five times, before a Bornemann kill finally provided the necessary second consecutive point to close it out.
Second Set: (25-12)
The Heat ran away with the second set early, jumping out to leads at 3-0 and then 10-6, before going on a run of 10 straight points that had them up 16-8 at the media break and 20-8 before the Griffins scored again.
Harvey, Bornemann, and Heppell provided a number of kills from then on, closing out the set efficiently.
Third Set: (20-25)
In their lone set victory of the night, the Griffins were able to out-hit the Heat, ahead 14-10 in kills and .344 to .129 in hitting percentage.
The home side only trailed once in the third, when they were down 2-1. They took the lead back with a five-point run to go ahead 6-2, and never gave it back.
The Heat were only able to string more than two points together once, and poorly-timed attack errors were the issue for the Heat late, providing the final points for the Griffins.
Fourth Set: (25-18)
The final frame had the Heat running away with it from jump, scoring the first three points on a kill and two service aces and going into the technical time-out up 16-7 after the first of back-to-back kills from Cote.
Attacking errors went the other way in the latter stages in the fourth, as the Griffins gave a number of points away in the closing leg. It was Heppell, Bornemann, and Cote that provided the necessary offence late, though, with kills and service aces to close it out.
Ryan Zachary and Kai Hesthammer were the two big hitters for the Griffins, with 16 and 13 kills respectively. They were set up on the night primarily by Caleb Weiss, who finished with a match-high 32 assists.
Zachary also had a team-high in digs, with nine, while Hesthammer, Jacob McIntyre, and Kornel Kowalewski tied for the team-high in blocks with three apiece.
By the Numbers:
The Heat attack was the stronger of the two on the night, finishing ahead in kills (47-44) and hitting percentage (.207 - .165). Assists on that attack were also ahead, with UBCO earning 44 to MacEwan's 42.
Service aces were 8-4, digs were 47-37, and blocks were nine to seven, all for the Heat.
The UBC Okanagan Heat (2-5) and Grant MacEwan Griffins (0-5) will see each other in competition again tomorrow night, with first serve scheduled to go at 6:30 p.m. local time (5:30 p.m. PST).
~ Grayson B. Leahy, Heat Sports Information / Notes from: Jefferson Hagen, MacEwan Athletics