Grayson Leahy, UBC Okanagan
KELOWNA, BC - The UBC Okanagan Heat women's volleyball team took down the University of Saskatchewan Huskies in straight sets on Friday night in the UBC Okanagan Gym. Set scores were 25-10, 25-21, and 25-17.
The service lined proved to be pivotal as the Heat dominated with 13 service aces compared to just four for the visiting Huskies. Emily Oxland and Kaitlynn Given had four aces a piece.
The closest set of the match was the second, with the Huskies eventually falling by four. Saskatchewan held a lead through the body of the set, from going up 4-3 to when the Heat re-took the lead at 15-14. After the technical time-out the Heat took over, pulling ahead to set point at 24-20 before an attack error apiece closed out the set. The Heat had their lowest hitting percentage of the match in the second, hitting only .030 while holding the Huskies to -.032.
UBC Okanagan out-hit Saskatchewan in all areas in the match. The Heat had 26 kills to the Huskies' 21, hit .219 and held the visitors to .023, and had 10 attack errors to the Huskies' 19. UBCO also finished ahead in blocks, earning seven and holding Saskatchewan to none.
Kaitlynn Given finished with a match-high nine kills for the Heat on a .600 hitting percentage. Megan Festival finished behind her, adding six for the home side. Emily Oxland led the Heat in both assists and digs, with 18 and eight respectively.
For the Huskies it was Emily Koshinksky with the most kills, at six. Taylor Annal and Emmalyn Copping each added four kills of their own. Jennifer Hueser finished with a match-high nine digs.
The first set was the most dominant for the Heat. They hit .381 and put away nine kills, holding the Huskies to eight kills on .097 hitting. UBCO took the lead at 1-0 and held it all the way through. In the middle of the set the Heat dominated play, stringing together six- and nine-point runs to score 15 of 16 points, taking a hefty lead at 20-7. The Heat closed out the set on another run, this time of three points, the final two points coming on service aces from Kaitlynn Given.
The third set saw the Heat dominate early, jumping ahead 10-2 to start it. The Huskies were able to fight back and bring the gap to 16-11 at the technical time-out. A pair of service aces from Megan Festival, another Given kill, and a Saskatchewan error put UBCO up 20-13. A pair of kills and more errors by the Huskies closed out the set at 25-17, and the match 3-0.
The UBC Okanagan Heat (11-6) and the Saskatchewan Huskies (6-11) will play again Saturday night. First serve is set for 5 p.m. PST in the UBC Okanagan Gymnasium.