VANCOUVER, B.C. - Aidan Lea finished with eight kills for the UBC Okanagan Heat but the UBC Thunderbirds would capture the victory on Saturday night in three sets.
An efficient 'Birds attack would lead to a .492 hitting percentage which was their best in any game so far this season while UBCO hit just .113 in defeat.
UBC extends their winning streak to three games and improves their Canada West record to 11-7 with six games remaining.
Lea led the way with a team-high seven kills and two digs while Sydney Grills recorded six kills and three digs. Ann Richards added five kills and one service ace for UBCO who saw their record fall to 2-16 after the setback.
UBC's Kiera Van Ryk collected a game-high nine kills and six digs while Jayde Robertsen was just behind with eight kills and one dig on the evening. Victoria Behie recorded seven kills and two service aces while Siobhan Finan and Tessa Davis added six kills each, Davis also tallying five digs and a team-high three service aces. Olivia Furlan stepped up for a game-high 19 assists.
The T-Birds jumped out to an early 6-2 advantage in the first set thanks to a couple well-placed aces from Furlan and a Davis kill before the Heat battled back to pull within 6-5 courtesy of kills from Lea and Grills while Richards added an ace. UBC would respond with an ace from Van Ryk, a kill from Siobhan Finan and a center dump from Furlan to take a 16-9 lead at the technical timeout. Van Ryk and Finan would add three more kills each to both reach a set high four en route to claiming a 25-16 opening period win.
UBC would find themselves up 6-3 in the early stages of the second set punctuated by a big Robertsen kill but UBCO would answer with back to back emphatic points from Lea, including a kill and an ace in trailing 6-5. A strong kill from Behie and a huge rejection from Danae Shephard would highlight the 'Birds next run of action leading to a 20-12 lead and a timeout from the visitors. The T-Birds would secure the set thanks to an effective block from Hanly taking us to set point at 24-14 before Behie added the final of her set high 4 kills and 25-14 win for the T-Birds who enjoyed a .688 hitting efficiency in the frame.
The Heat got out to a 3-1 lead in the third set ahead of Robersten asserting herself once again by going sky high for two straight kills to even the proceedings a 3-3. Van Ryk would add a string of four kills helping the 'Birds extend their lead to 19-14 before Grills and Finan would trade consecutive kills bringing us to 23-17 for the hosts. Robertsen closed out the set the way she started it with a set clinching block for the 25-17 win and a 3-0 victory.
The Heat (2-16) will now enjoy a bye week before hosting the Regina Cougars (10-8) on February 1 and 2, while UBC (11-7) will travel to take on the rival and No.1 ranked Trinity Western Spartans (16-0) next weekend.
~ Oliver Rizun, Heat Sports Information, with notes from Stu Walters, UBC Thunderbirds