BRANDON, MB – The UBC Okanagan Heat men's volleyball team fell in straight sets against the Brandon Bobcats on Saturday evening in Manitoba. As a result, the weekend sees the Heat men winless at the Healthy Living Centre, and improves the third ranked Brandon's record to 12-4 holding fourth place in the conference standings.
With a (5-11) record UBCO now sit tenth and two games out of a playoff spot but in their final eight matches 6-8 matches will be against teams just ahead of the Heat in the standings.
Consistency at the net was the advantage for the home side on Saturday, as their hitting carried the Bobcats to their second win against the Heat this weekend.
First Set: (25-22)
The opening set was close early on, as the Heat stayed within a few points and were able to tie it up at 11-11. The Bobcats put together a three-point run shortly after that point, and took a 16-12 lead into the technical time-out.
Another three-point run had the home side up 19-13, and the Heat responded with a run of their own to make it 19-17. Seth Friesen and Matt Powell closed it out with a pair of kills before the Heat could complete the comeback.
Second Set: (25-23)
The Heat started the second set ahead, as they went up 6-3 before the Bobcats found their swing and tied it up at 6-6. Two more ties followed, and then Brandon took over. They strung together three, including a pair of kills from Viles and Metcalf, to be ahead 16-11 at the break.
Out of the break the Heat were on a mission, putting together a run of six straight points to take the lead back, 17-16. Points were traded for a stretch after that, but the Bobcats got three straight kills from Friesen to make it set point, and they finished it off to take a 2-0 lead in the match.
Third Set: (25-17)
The first stages of the third set were tight, as the Heat stayed within a couple of points of the Bobcats until the home side strung together a run and pulled ahead 13-8. Viles provided another kill to put them up 16-10 at the time-out.
After that it was the Brandon attack's consistency and ability to score consecutive points that kept them well ahead, as they cruised behind strong swings and good serving to close out the match win.
Seth Friesen and Elliott Viles tied for the match high in kills, with 12 each, and Daven Pascal rounded out their top three hitters with eight kills. Reece Dixon had 32 assists, and led the team with eight digs.
By the Numbers:
The Bobcats finished ahead in kills (44-31), hitting percentage (.316-.205), assists (38-28), service aces (3-2), and digs (28-25). The Heat had the blocking advantage, finishing ahead 8.5-6 in total blocks.
The UBC Okanagan Heat (2-14) are back on the road next weekend, taking on the Saskatchewan Huskies (6-9) January 26 & 27.
The Brandon Bobcats (12-4) will travel next weekend as well, playing the UBC Thunderbirds (14-2) on those same days.
~ Grayson B. Leahy, Heat Sports Information.