Oliver Rizun, Heat Sports Information
KAMLOOPS, B.C. - In the final game of the regular season it was the TRU WolfPack who came out victorious in three sets on Saturday night as they improved their playoff positioning.
After the Heat got the better of their Okanagan rivals the night prior, the 'Pack jumped out to big leads in all three sets and hung on for their 11th win of the season (11-11). TRU will now travel to face the Alberta Golden Bears next weekend in the first round of the Canada West postseason.
The Heat close out their conference season with a 1-21 record and will return nearly everyone next season.
With the victory the WolfPack also clinched the men's side of the Presidents' Cup, which is an inter-university competition between the Okanagan schools in all Canada West sports. For full history on the competition and for the scoring matrix you can click here.
Thompson Rivers was efficient all night long as they finished with a .326 team hitting percentage while the Heat hit just .143 in the match.
UBCO was led by Max Heppell on the offensive end as he had nine kills and just two hitting errors, while defensively he had a team-high 11 digs as well. Senior Brennan Goski had three kills and five digs in his final game in the Canada West.
Goski was honoured prior to the match along with members of the Heat women's squad in the annual Senior Night ceremony.
Charlie Bringloe had another big outing for the WolfPack on the outside as he finished with a game-high 14 kills on just 27 total attacks. Setter Anton Napolitano did a little bit of everything for the visitors as well, finishing with 32 assists, five kills, and five digs.
It was a quick start for the visitors in the opening frame as they led 17-9 just after the technical timeout and looked like they had the set all wrapped up but UBCO countered. Brennen Goski fired a service ace for the Heat to force a timeout from the WolfPack following five straight points for the home squad. Max Heppell got the team within two at 19-17 but the 'Pack scored three of the next four to take command at 23-19. Isaac Smit finished off the set in style with a big swing from the left side to seal the 25-22 win.
The second was a near mirror-image of the opener, as TRU jumped at early but the Heat hung around late in the frame. Back-to-back kills from Heppell got them within two at 24-22 but a Tim Dobbert kill closed things out for the visitors as they took and commanding two-set lead.
In their most efficient set of the match, the WolfPack fired 18 kills and just three errors the Heat's way as they took the lead early once again and cruised in the final frame (25-12) to seal the victory in three sets.