Kelowna B.C. - Eli Risso would finish with 17 digs for the home team in what was a tough night for the Heat men's volleyball squad as they fell in three sets to the No. 4 ranked Brandon Bobcats on Friday night in the UBC Okanagan gym.
After Brandon captured the opener 25-19, the Heat would have four separate set point opportunities in the second but were unable to capitalize as the visitors scratched out a 29-27 set win, and took the two set to none lead. UBCO, unable to recover from after falling down by two sets, saw the 'Cats grab the match with a 25-13 score in the final set.
Brandon improves their record to 7-2 on the conference season while the Heat fall to 0-9 as we near the midway point of the season.
Attack errors would be the main difference in the match, as the Heat had 22 compared to just 13 for the visiting Bobcats. This differential allowed the Bobcats to hit .204 on the night as a team compared to just .061 for the young Heat squad.
For the Heat it was transfer Brennan Goski, the lone fifth year on the team, doing his best to keep the home team in the match with nine kills on the night to lead all Heat attackers. Eli Risso, with his match-high 17 digs, in the three-set match has the Kelowna Secondary grad on top in the conference in digs per set. He now has 756 in his career which is eighth in the conference's all-time list.
Seth Friesen and Elliot Viles had eight kills each to lead the 'Cats attack while Viles also picked up 12 digs. Setter Reece Dixon did a great job distributing the ball all night and would finish with 26 assists along with 12 digs.
Brad Hudson said that while his team showed some promise in the second set, they broke down in key situations. "We just need to be better with the ball, that's really it in a nutshell."
These two teams will meet up once again tomorrow night in the UBC Okanagan gym with first serve set for 7 p.m. on canadawest.tv.
It was a hot start for the Bobcats in the match as they scored 10 of the opening 12 points of the match to build a commanding lead early on. The deficit would be 16-9 for the Heat at the technical timeout but they cut it to 22-19 late in the frame but were unable to get any closer as the 'Cats prevailed 25-19.
In what would be the most exciting set of the match, the Heat and 'Cats went back-and-forth throughout the second with neither team ever having more than a four point lead. A Max Heppell kill would give the home team two set point opportunities at 24-22 but they were unable to capitalize. The Heat would have two more set points at both 26-25 and 27-26, but once again were unable to close things out as Brandon scored three straight to win the second 29-27.
The Bobcats were in cruise control for the majority of the third set as they built at 16-11 lead at the media timeout and would close out the final frame 25-13.
~ Oliver Rizun, Heat Sports Information