BRANDON, Man. – The nationally second-ranked Bobcats swept the UBC Okanagan Heat to close out the first-half of the Canada West men's volleyball season.
Brandon heads into the holidays tied for top spot in the conference with the Trinity Western Spartans with a record of (11-1). The 'Cats also enter the break winners of 18 consecutive sets.
"We are on the edge of something really good," said Cam Vanderveen, who chipped in with four kills for the Heat. "We are hoping to come back from our time off and have a really explosive start."
Ryder Kehler had a match-high 11 digs for UBCO, who welcome the Winnipeg Wesmen to start the second-half in the second weekend of January at home.
"We are a really confident team and we know when we play our game that we can play with all the big guys," said national player of the year Elliott Viles. "If there is one thing to pick to work on, it would be the consistency and trying to play at that high level all the time, which is hard to do."
The opening set saw both teams struggle from the service line with the Heat and the Bobcats combining for 15 errors. BU scored an ace when it mattered with Reece Dixon serving the set winning point.
Brandon's hitting percentage in the middle frame was a polished .381. The 'Cats used runs of (6-1) and (7-1) to secure the second set.
The Bobcats continued to fire on offence in the third with an early (6-0) run. BU rolled into the technical timeout with a (16-8) cushion thanks to a (6-1) run.
Canada West rookie of the year Robin Baghdady had seven kills on 14 attempts with no errors while Viles added seven kills and three aces.
Brandon had 12.5 total team blocks and Mason Metcalf was involved in eight blocks. Metcalf also added four kills on seven swings with no errors.
Dixon delivered a match-high 19 assists and six digs for Brandon, who return to Canada West action at home on January 10-11 against the Alberta Golden Bears.
~ Oliver Rizun, Heat Sports Information, with notes from Tyler Crayston, BU Athletics