The University of British Columbia

PREVIEW: Heat hit the road to battle top ranked Spartans

PREVIEW: Heat hit the road to battle top ranked Spartans

What you need to know

  • It will be a tough task for the Heat this weekend as they travel to Langley to face the defending Canada West Champions in the Trinity Western Spartans.
  • UBCO is coming off a four-set victory over Winnipeg on Saturday and currently are tied with UBC for the final playoff spot at 6-8.  Trinity Western is the No. 1 team in the latest U SPORTS rankings thanks to a 14-2 record in conference play.

GAME TIMES (PST) 

FRIDAY, JAN 17th 

Volleyball (W) | Canada West conference match
6 PM PST |
 UBC Okanagan Heat (6-8) at the Trinity Western Spartans (14-2) | Webcast | Live Stats
Ticket Information  | @ Langley Events Center, Langley, BC

SATURDAY, JAN 18th  

Volleyball (W) | Canada West conference match
5 PM PST |
 UBC Okanagan Heat at the Trinity Western Spartans | Webcast | Live Stats
Ticket Information  | @ Langley Events Center, Langley, BC


Weekend split:

  • The third set in the Friday night match against Winnipeg could prove to be a turning for the Heat as coach Steve Manuel implemented a different looking lineup.
  • Manuel decided to put in rookie setter Abigail Dueck, while shifting Natalie Livingston to the outside.
  • While the Heat fell in three on Friday night the bench boss started with the same lineup Saturday and it worked to perfection, a four-set Heat victory on their home floor.

Rookie Combination:

  • Outside hitter Amaya Perry is coming off her best weekend in a UBCO uniform, including an 18 kill, 11 digs and five service aces performance in the second matchup against Winnipeg.
  • Perry currently sits second in the conference in service aces (36) and second in kills by a rookie (117). 
  • Dueck would finish with 37 assists on Saturday for UBCO along with seven digs and four kills in her first career Canada West start.

Head to head with the Spartans: (14-2)

  • Last season in Kelowna the Spartans captured both matches in three sets against the then No. 3 team in the country.
  • These two teams are very familiar with each other, and in high stakes matches, as they had postseason matches such as the 2015 Canada West semi-final, which the Spartans won 3-2, and the 2016 Canada West gold medal match, which the Spartans also won 3-2.

Scouting the Spartans

Coming off a loss:

  • In a battle of No. 1 versus No. 2, the Spartans and Mount Royal Cougars would split their weekend set last weekend in Langley, with the Cougars winning on Saturday night in four sets.
  • Trinity still sits atop the Canada West standings at 14-2 and have already clinched a playoff spot with six games remaining. 
  • The No. 1 ranked Spartans lsead the conference in nearly every statistical category, including hitting percentage (.253), service aces (150), total blocks (146) and assists per set (11.67).

Plenty of star power:

  • In a lineup filled with highly decorated players, it has been All-Star outside hitter Hilary Howe doing most of the damage for the team from Langley. 
  • The 6'2 outside from Calgary sits second in the conference in total kills with 219 and the big-swinging righty has finished in double-figures in terms of kills in all 16 matches this season.
  • Canada West Rookie of the Year Savannah Purdy and Second Team All-Star Mikaelyn Sych provide plenty of depth for the No. 1 team in the country.