REGINA, S.K. - It was nearly an improbable comeback for the Heat women's volleyball team, but they fell just short in their season opener against the Regina Cougars on Friday night.
After trailing 13-8 in the fifth set, UBCO would string together six straight points to earn a match point, but were unable to capitalize. Another opportunity came just two points later, Sydney Grills put them up 15-14 but once again they couldn't close out the match.
Emma Matheson closed things out with back-to-back kills for the home team as the Cougars captured the season opener.
Jade Bussard finished with a career-high 18 kills for the visitors while Hellen Lacava impressed in her first start in a Heat uniform with 10 kills and 13 digs. Natalie Livingston got the start at setter once again for the visitors and finished with 37 assists along with 12 digs and five blocks in the season-opener.
Britt Davis had a team-high 13 kills for the Cougars in her Canada West debut and added 19 digs for a double-double, while Diana Lumbala added 12 kills and Jessica Lerminiaux put down 11. Also making her Canada West debut was Regina libero Sierra Parris-Kruger, who piled up a match-high 23 digs.
The offense from both teams was a little rusty in the opener as the Heat hit just .088 as a team while the Cougars hit .117. Both teams combined for 26 service errors as well in the first conference game for the two teams.
After winning the first and third sets by 25-22 and 25-14 scorelines, UBCO would have a chance to close things out in four. Regina, however, had other plans and pushed the match into a fifth set thanks to a 25-18 fourth set victory.
The Heat (0-1) and Cougars (1-0) will face-off again tomorrow night at the Centre for Kinesiology, Health & Sport with first serve going at 5 p.m. PST.
~ Oliver Rizun, Heat Sports Information, notes from Braden Konschuh, Cougars Athletics