What you need to know - Playoffs
- The Heat women will travel to Vancouver this weekend to face the UBC Thunderbirds in a best-of-three conference semifinal series.
- Both teams have already locked up a spot in the U SPORTS National Championship (at Laval Mar. 16-18) with wins last weekend in the quarter-finals.
- These two teams met during the very first weekend of the regular season in Kelowna, with each team winning a match.
CANADA WEST SEMIFINALS
To be played at the War Memorial Gymnasium at UBC, Vancouver.
Sweep of Bisons:
- It was smooth sailing on home court for the Heat last weekend in their Canada West quarterfinal series against the Manitoba Bisons, as they won the first two matches to close out the best-of-three
- The Heat would drop the opening set of the Friday night match but bounced back with three straight set wins to take the one game lead in the series. Ann Richards would lead the way for the Heat in game one with 14 kills.
- Saturday night was much of the same story except this time the Bisons prevailed in the second set to knot the match up at a set apiece. It would be all Heat the rest of the way as they won in four sets to close out the 'Herd.
Players to watch:
- Second year second Sara McCreary had one of her best weekends of the season when these two teams faced off in October as the Calgary product had 87 assists between the two matches along with 15 digs.
- Outside hitter Siobhan Fitzpatrick had her best two game stretch of the season against the T-birds as the fourth year player would finish with 29 kills and 19 digs during the opening weekend clash.
- The middle combination of Aidan Lea and Erin Drew has been lethal all season for the Heat both offensively and defensively. Lea was more of a spark on the offensive end with 226 kills during the regular season on a .336 hitting percentage while Drew was one of the best defenders in the country with 106 total blocks on the season.
- With a great season as one of the most feared players on the court third year middle Aidan Lea was selected as a first team all-star, thanks in large part to her .336 attack rate and 226 kills.
- Outside hitter and fifth year player, Michelle Jakszuk had her best season and found herself on the CW second all-star team. Jakszuk finished th year with 246 kills and a .202 attack rate, she also averaged 2.59 digs per set over the course of the 24 match schedule.
- The matchup this weekend will feature four conference all-stars will be in the semi-final as two T-Birds placed on the first team. fifth year setter Alessandra Gentile and first year outside Kiera Van Ryk not only made th all-rookie team but was also a first team all-star.
Head to head with the Thunderbirds (3-11 regular season, 2-2 postseason)
- In 2015-16 these two teams would meet twice during the postseason, with the Heat prevailing in both match ups. First it was a four set win at the Canada West Final Four and only nine days later the two teams met in the U SPORTS Bronze medal game.
- The Thunderbirds finished the regular season with a record of 20-4 thanks to a 12-1 record on their home floor. Their only loss so far this season in Vancouver was at the end of January when the Brandon Bobcats shocked them in four sets.
- A potent offensive team, the T-birds would lead the Canada West in kills on the season with 1236 and averaged the most assists per set at 12.34.
- After winning the national title last season, the Thunderbirds will be returning to the national tournament after a sweep of the Regina Cougars last weekend.
- Freshman Kiera Van Ryk had one of the best seasons in conference history for a rookie, as the outside hitter would finish with 352 kills on the season which was tied for the most in the Canada West. Van Ryk reached the double-digit mark in kills in 20 of her 24 conference games this season including 24 kills against MacEwan at the end of November
- Olivia Furlan achieved a rare feat this season as she was the only player in the conference to have over 100 kills, assists and digs. The second year player finished the regular season with 299 digs on the season along with 224 kills to her name. Olivia's older sister Sophia is also the starting libero for the Heat.