KELOWNA, B.C. – A record-setting night from the service line propelled UBCO to a four-set win over the Manitoba Bisons on Saturday night in Kelowna. Racking up 22 aces in the match the Heat were able to complete the sweep of the Bisons and rung their record to (4-2) on the season while the Bisons will have to look elsewhere to find their first win of the season as they drop to (0-4).
The 22 aces from the service line are the most in program history since its inception into the Canada West back in 2011.
Second-year outside hitter, Stephanie Temme led the way with five aces on the night while firing just one error. The Kelowna Secondary grad also hit for four kills and recorded a block on the night.
Starting setter Natalie Livingston served four aces and led the match with 31 assists. She added 10 digs and three blocks for a well-rounded stat line. Hellen Lacava served out both the third and fourth sets, she also finished with four aces. Her 14 kills were tied as a match-high with teammate Jade Bussard.
Manitoba hit a better percentage than UBCO in three of the four sets and out-blocked the Kelowna squad 11-6. The service game for the Heat, however, would power UBCO to a first set win. Manitoba avoided set point in the second and then took the set (26-24) before the Heat ran away with the final two sets on the night.
In the first set, the match was tied at 17, before the Heat exploded for six straight points and held on to take the first set (25-21).
The two teams battled in the second half with the score margin over two points only occurring once in the set. With the score (24-21) Kearly Abbott and Grace Van der Meer would combine for two consecutive huge blocks. Heat failed to convert on three set points as the Bisons took the set (26-24).
Manitoba carried the momentum into the third set as the Bisons went up (4-1) early. The Heat battled back to keep it tight but Lacava would star as she closed out the set with back-to-back aces. UBCO rattled off seven straight points to take the frame (25-26).
The Heat would command the fourth set after grabbing the lead at (6-6) they put the game in cruise control taking the set (25-21).
Laura Hill recorded a team-high 12 kills for Manitoba, while Van Der Meer put up a game-high six total blocks.
Heat head coach Steve Manuel praised the team's effort tonight. "We found ways to win in the fourth set, which we were unable to last night," explained the 19-year head coach of the Okanagan squad. Winners of four out of their last five, Manuel is pleased with the growth of the team. "We're getting better every day, we're young but we're learning how to find that other gear."
After going 3-1 on this homestand the Heat will continue their season but take to the road. A two-match set against Mount Royal this weekend in Calgary is up next for the suddenly streaking UBCO squad.
The Bisons stay on the road and make the trek to Regina to face-off against the Cougars.
All action can be watched live on Canada West tv presented by Co-op.
~ Brandon Smith, Heat Sports Information