Schmidt shoring up Heat defence

Kalamalka Laker grad Lenai Schmidt adds defensive presence for UBC Okanagan Heat women's volleyball team.

Fourth-year libero Lenai Schmidt of Vernon doesn’t show up on the stat sheet, but she’s a big reason the UBC Okanagan Heat are ranked 10th in the CIS women’s volleyball poll this week.

The 6-2 Heat swept the sixth-rated University of Manitoba Bisons 3-0 (25-10, 25-20, 25-9) Saturday to move from 24th to the top-10.

Schmidt, a Kalamalka Laker grad, was the key for the Heat. Surrendering only one service reception error while adding 18 digs, Schmidt was a calming presence in the back court with solid reception.

Star middle Katy Klomps (2nd year, Surrey) recorded 12 kills on 15 attempts for an unparalleled .733 kill percentage. Myrte Schön (4th year, Langley) added 12 kills on 33 attempts.

“Today we did exactly what was planned, and it was great that we could come back and execute like we can,” said Schmidt.

Added head coach Steve Manuel: “Easily our best showing all year. That is as good of a performance as a team can put together. It’s just a matter of maintaining that level of play.”

The Heat face the No. 3 University of Alberta Pandas today (noon) and Saturday at the Saville Community Sports Centre in Edmonton.

In women’s hoops, the Heat host the Regina Cougars tonight (6:00) after getting a split with the UNBC Timberwolves last weekend in Prince George.

Second-year guard Emily Kanester (Vernon) was 12-for-12 from the free throw line and finished with 22 points as the Heat tamed the T-Wolves 79-71 Saturday.

Second-year guard Sarah Allison (Surrey) drained 24 points for the 2-4 Heat, while fifth-year guard Maddie Kaneda (Vernon) rung up six points and 10 rebounds. The Heat entertain the Brandon Bobcats Saturday at 5 p.m.

In men’s hoops, Fulton grads Joel Rybachuk (10 points) and Charles Barton (nine points) helped the Timberwolves topple the Heat 85-70 Saturday night. Former PVSS Saint Mitch Goodwin flushed 25 points for the Heat.

Barton bagged 15 points and Rybachuk sank 11 as the Timberwolves won 86-60 Friday.

Meanwhile, Vernon’s Will Ondrik flushed 23 points as the Thompson Rivers WolfPack downed the Mt. Royal Cougars 89-80 in Calgary.

Ondrik added 13 rebounds, 10 on defence, while Vernon’s Brett Rouault had 19 points.

In women’s hoops Sunday, Vernon’s Diane Schuetze supplied 27 points and 10 rebounds as TRU grounded the Royals 66-58. The Cougars were led by Fulton grad Danica Rybachuk with 14 points.