RECAP: Heat fall to sister-school UBC in final home game

RECAP: Heat fall to sister-school UBC in final home game

Kelowna, B.C. - The UBCO Heat fell to the UBC Thunderbirds in three-sets, losing each frame by only two points in a tight match on Saturday night at the UBC Okanagan Gymnasium.

Despite the three-set loss, the Heat were able to fight off six set points, unable to convert on the two they had in the match.

UBC called on Michael Dowhaniuk to finish off each stanza, he answered the call, finishing with a game-high 15 kills, passing his season-best. Setter Ben Hooker was outstanding on the night, racking up 36 assists in the three-set match along with five digs and three kills.

The loss pulls the Heat down to (2-18) on the season with two games to go. The 'Birds improve to (15-5).

It was another tough night at the service line for both squads, as they combined for 29 errors and just seven aces, including 20 errors from the 'Birds

In a tightly contested first set that saw both teams go on runs, a key timeout would help turn the tides for the T-Birds. Coming out of the timeout the visitors scored four points in a row, erasing a UBCO lead. Matt Neaves and Michael Dowhaniuk would each have four kills as UBC took the first set (25-23).

A nail-biting second set would ensue. The home squad fought off set-point after set-point to keep the frame alive but the duo of Neaves and Dowhaniuk proved too much to overcome as the Birds took the set (30-28). UBCO's Max Heppell added four of his team-high 12 kills in the frame.

Heppell hit six more kills in the third and final set, as the Heat pushed for a comeback. Their attempt fell short as UBC were able to take the set (25-23).

Playing their final home games in Heat uniforms, Denham O'Reilly and Johnson Yi spoke of their time with the UBCO squad.

"It's been a blessing to play with the young guys," said O'Reilly, who recorded seven kills and eight digs, "to be able to help develop [the program], it's been epic."

UBCO makes their way to Calgary next weekend to take on the Dinos at 7:30 p.m. MST on Friday. The Thunderbirds will return home to face off against the Brandon Bobcats at 4:30 p.m. PST on Friday.

All action can be watched live on Canada West tv presented by Co-op.

~Brandon Smith, Heat Sports Information


Graduating Players:


Denham O'Reilly

Denham O'Reilly #16

  • The product of Langley has been one of the more versatile Heat players in recent memory, seeing starts at libero, setter, and outside hitter in his time with the program.
  • O'Reilly has played in 40 conference matches so far and has racked up 389 assists, 240 digs, 160 kills, 56 total blocks, and 16 service aces.
  • He has been especially hot as of late, as in his last three games he has 43 kills, including a career-high of 20 set last weekend against MacEwan in a five-set win. 

Johnson Yi

Johnson YI #11

  • Yi has been the last two seasons with UBCO after transferring from Douglas College.
  • The middle blocker from Vancouver has seen action in 29 Canada West matches since joining the program and has totaled an impressive 69 total blocks along with 56 kills in his time with the Heat.