The UBC Okanagan Heat could not match the No. 1 ranked University of Alberta Golden Bears men’s volleyball team’s depth as the home team posted a straight-sets victory (25-16, 25-20, 25-14) at Saville Community Sports Centre.
The Bears, on the strength of 39 kills from eight different players, were victorious in the Sunday afternoon contest and swept the two-game weekend series.
For the Heat, veteran outside hitters Riley McFarland (5th year, Surrey) and Greg Niemantsverdriet (4th year, Vernon) collected eight kills each, while rookie setter Kristof Schlagintweit (Abbotsford) dug up six balls.
UBC Okanagan continues to struggle offensively, still trying to work in eight new players as well as survive the absence of their all-star, fifth year, outside hitter, Nate Speijer (Penticton). The team hit for a discouraging 8.85 per cent average over the two-game set.
Things don’t get any easier for the Heat this weekend as they welcome the back-to-back national champions in the Trinity Western Spartans, who currently sit second in Canada West, for a two-game homestand.
In men’s hoops, an emphatic slam dunk by Azi Fahandeg-Sadi (4th year, Kelowna) at 5:36 in the fourth quarter sparked the Heat offence, but it was not enough, as UBC Okanagan bowed 74-68 to the Regina Cougars.
A cold-shooting first half (27.8 per cent) put the Heat in a deep hole early, but the Heat managed to claw their way back with under one minute to play in the fourth quarter.
A foul by Sterling Nostedt (5th year, Brandon) of Regina put Anwar Faza (3rd year, Ottawa) at the line with 46 seconds remaining, and converting both free-throws put the Heat within six.
Faza then put the Heat within five points after a layup at 0:28.
“The guys battled as hard as they could to get back in the game,” said Heat head coach Pete Guarasci. “But the mental focus just wasn’t there from the start.”
Fahandeg-Sadi finished with 20 points and 7 rebounds, while first-year guard Mitch Goodwin (Kelowna and former PVSS Saint) snagged 23 points.
In women’s hoops, No. 3 Regina brushed back the Heat 76-64.
Emily Kanester (2nd year, Vernon) finished the night with her first double-double of the season with 13 points and 11 rebounds. Kystal Schouten (3rd year, Winnipeg) rung 20 points, while Sarah Allison (2nd year, Surrey) had an off night with just 11 points. The Heat are 3-5.