Kelowna, BC - A strong block a balanced attack from the No. 3 Mount Royal Cougars was too much to overcome for the undermanned Heat as they dropped their Saturday night match in four sets in the UBC Okanagan gym.
Four separate players finish in double-figures in terms of kills for the visiting Cougars, led by southpaw Tyler Schmidt who had 19 on the night while Trent Mounter chipped in with 13 of his own. The other two in double-digits was Luis Lange (10) and Scott Gieske (10).
Mount Royal would also be in control at the net as they finished with 10.5 blocks on the night compared to just six for UBCO.
After the Cougars captured the opening two sets by 25-22 scorelines the Heat found their groove in the third winning 25-19 to push it into a fourth frame. The No. 3 ranked team in the country would close out the match however in the following set 25-17.
The Heat attack was led by Brennan Goski who had 14 in the match while Devon Cote and Cam Vanderveen had 11 put-aways on the night as well. Vanderveen would get his first career start in the match at the right side position and took full advantage by also recording eight digs.
With the win the Cougars improve their record to 6-2 while the Heat fall to 0-8 in the loss.
Heat head coach Brad Hudson commented on his teams adjustments to the second game and the youth in the lineup. "I thought we did some good work this morning in video and the team meeting and I thought the guys showed a lot of care and thoughtfulness in some of the things we're trying to accomplish and teach but again the reality is this is a really young group."
It was a quick start for the visitors as they score six of the first seven points to open the match but would lead just 16-13 at the first set technical timeout. The Heat would fight back to tie things up at 21 apiece but four of the final five points went the 'Cougs way in the 25-22 win.
Once again a quick start from the Cougars gave them the upper-hand early in the second as they led 16-13 at the media break. UBCO would use a run to cut the deficit to just one (20-19) but the visitors closed extremely well by scoring three straight points to help them to another 25-22 victory.
After two slow starts the first two sets, the Heat came out firing on all cylinders in the third as they scored first and the Cougars were never able to take the lead at any point in the frame. In the set the home team finished with 13 kills compared to just four errors on 26 attacks which resulted in their best hitting percentage of the match (.346)
The Heat would lead early in the fourth but were unable to carry their strong play from the third over as Mount Royal upped their game which led to a 25-17 fourth set win to close out the match.
Another two games game are on tap for the Heat (0-8) as they host the Brandon Bobcats (6-2) on Friday and Saturday night in Kelowna. First serve for the men goes at 8 p.m. PST on Friday. Mount Royal (6-2) continues their road trip in Winnipeg (2-4) against the Wesmen.
~ Oliver Rizun, Heat Sports Information