The University of British Columbia

PREVIEW: Heat host the Alberta Pandas for their home opener

PREVIEW: Heat host the Alberta Pandas for their home opener

What you need to know

  • The Heat women's volleyball team will return to action this weekend when they host the Alberta Pandas for their home opener.
  • The home opener versus the Pandas will get underway at 6 p.m. on Friday night in the UBC Okanagan Gymnasium. 
  • The second match of the series will start at 4 p.m. on Saturday. 
  • UBCO is coming off a split in Regina. After dropping the first match in five sets they bounced back the next day, winning convincingly in straight sets.
  • The Pandas were swept (3-1),(3-0) last weekend at home against TWU.



Volleyball (W) | Canada West conference Home Opener
6 PM |
 UBC Okanagan Heat vs the Alberta Pandas | Webcast | Live Stats
Ticket Information  | @ UBC Okanagan Gymnasium, Kelowna, BC


Volleyball (W) | Canada West conference match
4 PM |
 UBC Okanagan Heat vs the Alberta Pandas | Webcast | Live Stats
Ticket Information  | @ UBC Okanagan Gymnasium, Kelowna, BC

First weekend:

  • Opening on the road, the Heat ended up splitting the series with the Regina Cougars.  
  • The first match led to a crazy fifth set which the Heat would ultimately drop 17-15.
  • However, UBCO was dominating on Saturday in the rematch. Grabbing the win in straight sets 3-0 (25-15, 25-16, 25-19).

Impact players so far:

  • Second-year hitter Jade Bussard is having an outstanding start to her sophomore campaign. In Regina, the left side from Red Deer tallied 29 kills in the two matches. Her 18 kills on the opening night set a single-match career-high for Bussard. 
  • Starting at setter for the second straight year, Natalie Livingston had a well-rounded opening weekend, with 63 assists, 11 blocks and 17 digs through the split in Regina. 
  • Amaya Perry and Hellen Lacava started both matches for the Heat. Perry is a true freshman, straight out of Lethbridge's Catholic Central High. Lacava is a transfer who played last season at Salt Lake Community College.                                      

Head to head with the Pandas: (7-9 regular season, 0-1 postseason)

  • Last season the Heat played in Edmonton in early February. The Heat lost to the seventh-ranked Pandas on both nights in the penultimate weekend of play.  
  • Last time out in Kelowna, it was UBCO who held serve. In January of 2018, the Heat won both matches in four sets in a battle of nationally-ranked teams.
  • Their lone playoff match was in Edmonton and Alberta ousted UBCO from the Final Four in the 2016-17 season, in three sets. 

Scouting Alberta

Season to date:

  • A tough matchup to start the season for the Pandas. The preseason No. 2 ranked Alberta hosted the preseason favourites, Trinity Western Spartans, for their home opener. 
  • The Spartans upended Alberta on their home court both nights, by scores of (3-1) and (3-0). 
  • Last year Alberta had the misfortune of playing the Spartans in the national semifinal, after losing to TWU the Pandas rebounded to win a national bronze medal.

Players to watch:

  • Kory White, an All-Canadian last year, already has 31 kills in only seven sets for the Pandas. She starred over the summer for Team Canada at the FISU games, and her 4.75 kills per set is the top mark in the conference. 
  • Setter, Elyse Hart has 65 assists in the early stages in the season, she ranks fifth in assists per set with 9.3.