KELOWNA, B.C. – The UBC Okanagan Heat completed the weekend sweep of the visiting University of Regina Cougars, taking the Saturday night matchup 3-1. After dropping the opening set, the Heat rallied to win three straight and get out of the weekend with a pair of wins. The win is the Heat's fourth straight, and improves their record to 5-5 through the Canada West schedule so far.
The game was closely contested all the way through, with the deciding set going right down to the wire. The difference maker of the match was Lars Bornemann, whose 17th kill of the match provided the final point and stopped the streak of comebacks and ties that the Cougars were putting together late in the fourth.
Bornemann and the record books:
With the first dig of the night for the fifth year senior Lars become the first member of the 1000/500 club at UBC Okanagan. Bornemann has 1080 career kills, one of only two men's volleyballers to surpass 1000 kills (Nate Speijer 1260 kills, 2008-11, 13-14) and with Speijer only amassing 437 career digs Bornemann is the first member of the 100 kill club to tally over 500 digs. He now has 509 digs.
First Set: (22-25)
The scoring was pretty even early on, as Regina jumped ahead 4-1 before the Heat evened it up at 8-8 after a three-point run of their own. Another run of three straight pulled the Heat even again just before the technical time out, at 15-15, but Conal McAinsh buried a kill to put the visitors up one at the break.
Out of the break the Heat got a pair of kills from Caleb Funk and Lars Bornemann to tie it up at 18-18, before a big block from Bornemann and Josh Harvey gave the Heat the 19-18 lead. UFV bounced back quickly, tying it up at 19, 20, and 21 before pulling ahead on back-to-back kills from Dalton Wolfe and Matthew Aubrey. Another kill from Wolfe set up set point at 24-22, and an ace that landed just on the back line provided the final point.
The Heat finished the first set ahead 13-11 in kills, but consistency was an issue as they hit just .156 while the Cougars hit .360 in the opener.
Second Set: (26-24)
The Heat were ahead early in the second, but were never able to stretch their lead beyond three points. The Cougars were able to take a lead after a three-point run, going ahead 15-14 on a kill from Brennan Goski, but Devon Cote buried a pair of kills to take the Heat into the technical time-out with a 16-15 lead.
The latter stages of the frame saw it go right down to the wire, and it was tied at 23-23. Lars Bornemann gave the Heat set point at 24-23, but McAinsh responded with one of his own to tie it up again. Back-to-back kills, from Cote and Bornemann, were enough to close out the set and give the Heat the win.
Third Set: (25-19)
The Cougars had a slight edge early in the third, and were up 6-5, before UBCO strung together four straight, on three straight Regina mistakes and a Joshua Harvey service ace. Another run, this time of five points built on three kills and another ace, had the Heat up 14-7. Another kill from Cote would send the home side into the technical time-out with a 16-10 lead.
Regina came out strong after the break, burying a pair of kills and getting two blocks from Cody Caldwell and Brennan Goski to bring them within two at 16-14. The Heat responded with a three-point string of their own, and forced a Regina time-out. The teams essentially traded points after the time-out, until the Heat scored three straight to close out the set, with the final point coming on a huge swing from Bornemann.
Fourth Set: (25-23)
The fourth was tight early on, with a number of ties and lead changes before either side made it to 10 points. A three-point run put the Heat up 12-9 after a kill and an ace from Caleb Funk, but the Cougars scored five of the next seven points to tie it up at 14. A powerful swing from Caldwell gave Regina the lead back, at 15-14, but the Heat rolled into the technical time-out with a 16-15 after a Caldwell service error and a Lucas Robertson kill.
After the break the Cougars managed to pull ahead, at 19-18 after a kill and block from Caldwell, but the Heat pulled even twice and then ahead twice, at 21-20 and 22-22. A huge swing from Bornemann put the Heat up 23-22, and forced a Regina time-out.
After the time-out the Heat were serving for match point after a misplayed defensive ball from the Cougars gave away a point, but a big swing from Jon Russo flew long and wide right. The final point came on the next rally, though, as a powerful kill by Bornemann landed on the back line and cemented the win.
Lars Bornemann was the best hitter of the night for the Heat, tallying 17 kills on .452 hitting, and he finished with 10 digs. Devon Cote and Jon Russo rounded out the Heat's top three hitters, with 14 kills apiece. Setting up all of those kills was a task split between Lucas Robertson and Morgan Nichols, who finished with 22 and 18 assists respectively.
U of R:
Brennan Goski was the leading hitter for the Cougars, putting away 15 kills on a hitting percentage of .294. Behind him was Dalton Wolfe, also in double digits with 12, followed by Conal McAinsh and Cody Caldwell with eight apiece.
Wolfe also had the team-high in digs, with nine, while Caldwell finished with a match-high five total blocks.
By the Numbers:
Both teams finished the match having put up 110 attacks, with the Heat having the slightly better night offensively and finishing ahead in kills (56-51) and assists (53-45), while the Cougars had the edge in hitting percentage (.345 - .336). Service aces were 6-3 in favour of the Heat.
Defensively, the Heat finished with better numbers in digs (39-31) and reception errors (3-6), while the Cougars finished ahead in total blocks (9-3).
The UBC Okanagan Heat (8-2) will be on the road for their next matches, travelling to take on the Calgary Dinos (8-2) on Thursday, November 30 and Friday, December 1.
The Regina Cougars (5-7) have their bye week next weekend, and so will not play again until January 5 & 6, when they'll be in Saskatoon to take on the Saskatchewan Huskies (4-6).
~ Grayson B. Leahy, Heat Sports Information