(By University of Regina Sports Information)
REGINA – The University of Regina's women's volleyball team battled back from a 2-0 deficit to force a fifth set on Thursday night, but UBC won the deciding set by a 15-10 margin to secure a road victory at the Centre for Kinesiology, Health & Sport.
Kiera Van Ryk (pictured) was the story for UBC. The second-year outside hitter piled up a match-high 22 kills, three of which came in the first half of the fifth set alone to help the visiting Thunderbirds build up a four-point lead that they hung on to for almost the duration of the final frame.
Both teams now have an identical 4-5 record and are tied for eighth in the Canada West standings.
Van Ryk also had 11 kills to notch one of two double-doubles for UBC. Third-year setter Olivia Furlan had the other with 43 assists and 11 digs while also leading all players with four service aces, while fifth-year libero Samantha Patko tied for the match high with 14 digs.
Jessica Lerminiaux led the Cougars with 12 kills.
The match opened up with two convincing wins for UBC. The Thunderbirds hit .423 in the opening set which they won 25-19, then they hit .357 as a team and cruised to a 25-14 win in the second.
But the Cougars had an answer in the third set. Sparked by an 8-2 run around the technical timeout, Regina got back into the match with a 25-21 win which saw Lerminiaux put down both of the U of R's last two points of the set. It looked as though the Cougars might ride that momentum to a big win in the fourth after jumping out to a 17-11 lead thanks to an Ashlee Sandiford ace coming out of the technical timeout, but UBC replied with five straight points as Jess Goodridge went on a run from the baseline. The two teams stayed within one point of each other the rest of the way until back-to-back solo blocks by Emma Matheson and Brooklyn Reynolds gave the Cougars a 27-25 win.
But UBC controlled the fifth set right from the outset. Van Ryk's three fifth-set kills helped the Thunderbirds jump out to a 6-2 lead, and another three straight points by UBC put the visitors up 9-3. The Cougars got back to within three points at 13-10, but after a UBC timeout back-to-back hitting errors by Regina gave the Thunderbirds the win.
Besides Lerminiaux's 12 kills, the Cougars also got nine kills from Sandiford and seven from both Diana Lumbala and Reynolds. Satomi Togawa had 36 assists and eight digs, while Taylor Ungar tied Patko for the match lead with 14 digs.
The two teams will meet again on Friday night (7:00) at the CKHS.