KELOWNA, B.C. – Jade Bussard had another outstanding evening as the Heat women capture a narrow five-set victory over the visiting Manitoba Bisons on Friday night.
The Heat captured the first and third sets, but dropped the second and fourth to push it into their third five-setter in the first five games. After the two teams were tied at eight all in the fifth it was all UBCO. They closed it out (15-9) in the final frame on two straight blocks by Natalie Livingston and Stephanie Temme.
The victory improves the Heat's record to above .500 (3-2) for the first time all season, while the Bisons drop their third straight (0-3) to start their Canada West campaign.
Kearley Abbott was the focal point of the Manitoba attack all night long as she finished with 13 kills on 45 attempts. Abbott also picked up 10 digs and three service aces for the visitors.
It was an impressive block that led the home team to victory as they had a season-high 14 total blocks compared to just eight for the Bisons.
It was all home sweet home for the Heat to open up the match as they scored the first eight points to take a commanding lead early. A 16-3 advantage at the media timeout would propel the Heat to a (25-9) victory in the first as they played some of their best volleyball of the early season.
The second would be tight throughout but a late run after a 20-all tie by the visitors would lead to a (25-22) Manitoba victory in the frame.
It was a similar story in the third as it was in the first, as UBCO jumped out to an early lead and never looked back en route to a (25-14) victory.
The fourth was once again tied up at 20 apiece and it was the Bisons, who once again were able to close things out late. Back-to-back Kearley Abbott kills extended the match into a fifth following a (25-22) fourth set win.
The Heat (3-2) and Bisons (0-3) will face off once again tomorrow night in the Okanagan gymnasium with first-serve slated for 4 p.m.
All action can be watched live on Canada West tv presented by Co-op.
~ Oliver Rizun, Heat Sports Information