The University of British Columbia

RECAP: Heat fall to Pandas in home opener

RECAP: Heat fall to Pandas in home opener

KELOWNA, B.C. – On Friday night the UBCO Heat dropped a five-set thriller to Alberta led by the Panda's Kory White and her 30 kills at the UBCO Gymnasium.

Hellen Lacava had 16 kills for UBCO, but her efforts would come up just short as White's remarkable 30 kills, which is a school-record and the seventh most in a single match in Canada West history, propelled Alberta to victory. First-year Amaya Perry put up a career-high 11 kills in the loss for the Heat women's volleyball. 

The Heat cruised to a (25-16) win in the first set with six aces, with three from Jade Bussard.

UBCO dug themselves into a hole early in the second set, going down (8-2) and eventually fell (25-12).

In the third set, two quick points from rookie Perry would get UBCO back on track. The set would come down to the wire as Natalie Livingston broke the deadlocked match with a sneaky tip. With the score at (25-24) in the Heat's favour, Lacava would pass the ball to Livingston who quick nudged the ball over the net, giving UBCO the set win.

Up two sets to one, the Heat were unable to get anything going in the fourth. Alberta grabbed the lead early and held on for a (25-13) win. Kory White led the charge for the Pandas with five kills in the set. 

In the decisive fifth set, the Pandas got up early and held off a 7-2 run by UBCO late in the set. Alberta would win the set (15-10) and the match (3-2).

The loss drops the Heat to (1-2) for the year while the Pandas win their first of the year to improve to (1-2).

Rookies, Thea Gremmen, Abigail Dueck and Perry all played their first home-match the Furnace Friday night in front of a raucous crowd.

Heat Head Coach Steve Manuel stayed positive following the loss, noting his team is not far off:

"We're right in there with everybody, regardless of how young we are [...] the team battled. For our team to have no quit and just battle all the way through, it's going to pay off."

These two teams will rematch tomorrow at 4 p.m. in the UBC Okanagan Gymnasium.

All action can be watched live on Canada West tv presented by Co-op.

~ Brandon Smith, Heat Sports Information