What you need to know
- This weekend against nationally ranked No. 3 Brandon, in the Bobcat Den, the Heat men will be looking to snap a four-match losing skid, after dropping the first two of the new year in a home series against the playoff-bound University of Alberta.
- The Heat sit just a win out of a playoff spot, with two matches in hand, with a record of 5-9. Just ahead of them are Manitoba Bisons (6-10).
- Brandon is 10-4 on the season and boast wins over Trinity Western and the University of Calgary on the season.
GAME TIMES (PST)
All matches to be played at the Healthy Living Centre, Brandon, MB.
Players to watch:
- Libero Eli Risso leads Canada West in the statistical category of digs per set, averaging 2.55. Risso also has the third-best digs total so far this season with 135
- Lars Bornemann has the third-best set's kills numbers in the conference, with an average of 3.98 kills per set. He is also fifth in total kills, with 203 to this point
- Joshua Harvey is the Heat's leading defensive man at the net, with a total of 39 blocks thus far and an average of 0.78 blocks per set
- The Heat's next three opponents, including the Bobcats, are all above them in the standings and present a legitimate possibility to make significant headway in moving up the standings and into the playoff picture in the coming weeks
- The Heat's defensive play away from the net is one of their strongest assets. They're currently sitting in fifth in the conference as a team with 514 total digs
Head-to-head with the Bobcats: ( 2-10)
0-2 in 11/12; 0-2 in 12/13; 0-2 in 13/14; 0-2 in 14/15; 1-1 in 15/16; 1-1 in 16/17
- The Heat and Bobcats have split their last two weekend matchups, in October 2016 and November 2015
- The Bobcats won the first eight matches between the two teams, besting the Heat in each meeting from their joining Canada West in 2011 until November 21, 2015
- In the most recent national rankings released as the U SPORTS Top 10 on Tuesday, the Bobcats sit at #3 behind Trinity Western (15-1) and UBC (14-2)
- The Bobcats have played just a pair of games in the new year, having finished with a weekend split against the Dinos (10-4) in Calgary on January 12 & 13
- In the three weekend matchups against Canada West teams with winning records so far this season, Brandon have finished with weekend splits in each.
- Middle blocker James Weir holds the fifth-best per-set blocking numbers in the conference, averaging 1.09 a frame
- Left side Brady Nault is also in the top five in a Canada West category, averaging 2.20 digs per set.
Carter Brodner / M / 1 / Regina, Sask. / Campbell Collegiate
Bryston Keck / M / 3 / Gravelbourg, Sask. / Lakeland College
Nigel Tolley / S / 1 / Regina, Sask. / Winston Knoll
Travis Walls / LS / 1 / Wakaw, Sask. / Wakaw School