The University of British Columbia

PREVIEW: Heat look for a win in Vancouver versus Thunderbirds

PREVIEW: Heat look for a win in Vancouver versus Thunderbirds

What you need to know


  • The Heat will be on the road once again this weekend when they travel to Vancouver to face to reigning National Champion UBC Thunderbirds.
  • UBCO is still searching for that first win in Canada West play but have shown signs of life in recent weeks.
  • UBC has also struggled this season following the loss of nearly their entire starting lineup from last year's championship team.

GAME TIMES (PT)

FRIDAY, JAN 18th 

Volleyball (M) / Canada West Conference Match
7:30 PM PST |
UBC Okanagan Heat (0-16) at the UBC Thunderbirds (4-10) | Webcast | Live StatsTickets
War Memorial Gymnasium, University of British Columbia Point Grey campus

SATURDAY, JAN 19th 

Volleyball (M) Canada West Conference Match
6:30 PM PST |
UBC Okanagan Heat at the UBC Thunderbirds | Webcast | Live Stats |  Tickets
War Memorial Gymnasium, University of British Columbia Point Grey campus


Road trip continues:

  • Last weekend on the road the Heat were unable to capture their first conference win of the season but showed signs of life against a quality Manitoba Bisons squad.
  • The second game included a 33-31 fourth set in which the Heat had multiple chances to push the match into five.
  • There were multiple lineup changes once again in both games in Winnipeg, including Denham O'Reilly playing three different positions in the two games. 

Players to watch:

  • O'Reilly is coming off one of the more impressive stat lines so far this year for the Heat, as the versatile transfer student fell two kills shy of a triple-double against the Bisons with 13 assists, 12 digs, and eight kills.
  • Max Heppell continues to lead to the team in kills on the season as the sophomore has raised his total to 155 in 16 conference games so far. 

Head to head with the Thunderbirds: (3-11)

  • These two teams opened up last season against each other in Kelowna with the 'Birds capturing both in four sets on their way to a national championship.
  • This won't be the first time these teams have met up this season as they played against each other in preseason at the Blue Team Cup in Langley with the Thunderbirds capturing the five-set win. 

Scouting UBC 

Getting hot at the right time:

  • The defending U SPORTS Champions are coming off back-to-back victories over the MacEwan Griffins and now sit two games back of the final playoff spot.
  • Having lost nearly their entire starting lineup from last season, this is a much different looking team from the one that captured the programs first National Championship in 35 years 

Players to watch:

  • The T-birds attack is led by freshman Michael Dowhaniuk who has 127 kills so far this season.
  • Sophomore outside hitter Coltyn Liu is the other Thunderbirds attack with over 100 kills (113) while he also has 50 digs so far this season.
  • UBC has just two seniors on their entire roster, with middle blocker Joel Reghehr the only senior seeing significant playing time and he has racked up 27 blocks in conference play, the second most of any T-birds player.