CALGARY – In a matchup featuring two 8-2 squads, the UBC Okanagan Heat fell in three sets to the host University of Calgary women's volleyball team 3-0 (25-21, 25-21, 25-23) on Thursday night at the Jack Simpson Gymnasium.
Playing in front of a boisterous crowd for the Dinos' Block Party, Calgary was able to overcome some nervous energy to win three-straight tight sets and win their fifth in a row. Calgary move into sole possession of first place in Canada West with a 9-2 record and the loss drops UBCO into third place in the conference at 8-3 and will have a chance to even the score with Calgary tomorrow night.
The Heat took a lead early in both of the first two sets comfortably hitting the technical timeout with a lead only to see Calgary storm out after the break and take both by a score of 25-21. UBCO appeared rattled at the beginning of the third and let U of C jump to a lead. A reversal of fortunes appeared to be in play as the Heat took back the lead and had a 21-20 edge only to have Calgary score 5-7 to finish off the match.
The Heat got off to a quick start in the opening set, building a 8-2 lead early on. The Dinos pulled within two at 12-14, following a kill by Pexman, which put the Dinos within striking distance. The score remained close with the Heat leading 21-18, but a kill by Jaylynn Moffatt started a eight-point rally and was capped by with a superb play by Vinnell to clinch the set 25-21.
The second set was a close one for the majority of play, as the two teams were tied up several times throughout. The back-and-forth play continued to 19-19, when an attack error by Siobhan Fitzpatrick gave Calgary the 20-19 advantage. The Dinos continued to lead by two, and refused to give up control, finding their way to set point, and ultimately taking the set 25-21.
The third set was another close one, as the Heat fought back after the Dinos opened the set with a 2-0 advantage. A kill from Pexman and a series of errors increased the lead to 6-3, which later turned into 10-8 and 15-14. The Heat managed to tie things up at 16-16 and went on to take a small lead. Hungry for a sweep, the Dinos swiftly took a 24-22 lead on an attack error by Aidan Lea and it was a kill by Vinnell that clinched the set 25-23.
Inside the numbers:
The Heat were outhit by the Dinos, .188 to .144. UBCO's best offensive set came in the final one, as the Heat hit .233 as a team, with 11 kills and just four errors. Neither team displayed a strong service game, Calgary managed four aces in the match while UBCO spun just three. Calgary's advantage was in recording just three service errors compared to eight for the Heat.
Ann Richards led the Heat with 16 kills as she hit .243. She also added five digs to her stat line. Aidan Lea noted 10 kills, while Sophia Furlan and Sara McCreary added 11 and 10 digs, respectively. Sara McCreary had 30 sets in the three set outing.
Pexman led the Dinos with 15 kills, while Beth Vinnell added 14 kills and Jaylynn Moffatt had seven. Brianna Solberg added three kills and no errors, while Kennedy Snape notched 11 digs.
These two teams will be back in action on Friday evening as they take the court for a 4 p.m. PST start time for the last match of 2017. Both teams will head into the semester break following the Friday match.
~ with notes from Olivia Krol, Dinos Communications