EDMONTON – The UBC Okanagan Heat closed out a weekend sweep against the MacEwan University Griffins with a 3-0 shutout victory on Saturday night. The win keeps the Heat atop the Canada West standings, as their record improves to 6-2 so far on the season.
Much like the Friday night contest, the Griffins were able to keep it close early on, but were unable to maintain the pace being set by the Heat. The opening frame was the lone of the night with any suspense, as the Heat proved during the second and third why they are still one of the best teams in the country.
First Set: (26-24)
The Heat were in control early on in the first set, jumping ahead 8-2 after a six-point run that included three straight kills from Aidan Lea. The Griffins were able to respond then with a run of their own, though, scoring nine straight to take a 16-12 lead into the technical time-out.
Another run after the break brought the Heat back to within one, down 18-17 after four straight. Another four straight points gave the Heat a lead, at 22-21, and two lead changes later back-to-back kills, courtesy of Skye Thompson and Erin Drew, closed out the tight set to give UBCO a 1-0 lead in the match.
Second Set: (25-12)
The second set saw the Heat dominate all the way through, putting together long scoring runs from beginning to end. After being tied 5-5, the Heat scored 10 of the next 14 to take a 16-9 lead into the technical time-out.
After the break Sydney McKinlay continued an impressive serving run that stretched to five straight Heat points. After that, Aidan Lea provided two of the final three points, with setter Sara McCreary adding a kill of her own for the other, to close out the set and go up 2-0.
Third Set: (25-16)
A 4-0 run for the Heat got the third started, forcing a quick Griffins time-out. From then on they wouldn't give up the lead, taking a 16-11 lead into the technical time-out.
After the break the Heat allowed the Griffins to score only sparingly, as an abundance of kills by the visitors powered them to match point at 24-13. The final point came on an impressive kill by Sydney McKinlay, from well off the net, completing the three-set sweep.
Aidan Lea was a force to be reckoned with on the attack on Saturday night, putting away 13 kills on a truly exceptional .579 hitting percentage. Erin Drew also finished in double-digits in kills for the Heat, adding 10 kills of her own. Sara McCreary was once again successful and efficient in her setting up of the Heat attack, falling just one shy of yet another 40-assist match.
Michelle Jakszuk also had an impressive night at the net, putting down nine kills on .400 hitting, finishing with a team-high three blocks, and picking up eight digs.
For the Griffins it was Cassidy Kinsella leading the attack, with seven kills, followed by Haley Gilfillan, who had five. Gilfillan also finished with a team-high four blocks.
Hailey Cornelis was a boost at the service line for MacEwan, as she finished with a pair of service aces, and Karly Edgar was a defensive standout with 13 digs.
By the Numbers:
The Heat were ahead on the stat sheet pretty much all around. Kills were 45-23, hitting percentages were .302 - .092, assists were 44-21, and digs were 53-40.
The Griffins had the better night from the service line, putting away five aces to the Heat's four. Total blocks were also close, as the Heat finished just one better, at 6-5.
The UBC Okanagan Heat (6-2) have their bye week next weekend, and so will play next on November 24 & 25 when they host the Regina Cougars (2-5).
Next up for the Grant MacEwan Griffins (0-6) will be a pair of road matches at the University of Manitoba (1-4) on November 17 & 18.
~ Grayson B. Leahy, Heat Sports Information