Stu Walters / UBC Thunderbirds
VANCOUVER - The UBC Thunderbirds were tidy and decisive in earning a 3-0 (25-16, 25-14, 25-17) victory over the UBC Okanagan Heat at War Memorial Gym Saturday night. It was a third straight win for the T-Birds who swept the two-game weekend series and improved their Canada West record to 11-7 on the season.
UBC's Kiera Van Ryk collected a game high nine kills and six digs while Jayde Robertsen was just behind with eight kills and one dig on the evening. Victoria Behie recorded seven kills and two service aces while Siobhan Finan and Tessa Davis added six kills each, Davis also tallying five digs and a team high three service aces. Olivia Furlan stepped up for a game high 19 assists.
For the Heat Aidan Lea led the way with a team high seven kills and two digs while Sydney Grills recorded six kills and three digs. Ann Richards added five kills and one service ace for UBCO who saw their record fall to 2-16 after the setback.
"I think we maintained our focus and did a lot of good things tonight," said UBC head coach Doug Reimer. "I was pleased with having only six attack errors out of 65 swings, so below 10 percent which for us is a very good total and that's reflective in a high hitting efficiency which allows us to have room to make other errors when we're that efficient.
The T-Birds jumped out to an early 6-2 advantage in the first set thanks to a couple well placed aces from Furlan and a Davis Kill before the Heat battled back to pull within 6-5 courtesy of kills from Lea and Grills while Richards added an ace. UBC would respond with an ace from Van Ryk, a kill from Siobhan Finan and a center dump from Furlan to take a 16-9 lead at the technical timeout. Van Ryk and Finan would add three more kills each to both reach a set high four en route to claiming a 25-16 opening period win.
UBC would find themselves up 6-3 in the early stages of the second set punctuated by a big Robertsen kill but UBCO would answer with back to back emphatic points from Lea, including a kill and an ace in trailing 6-5. A strong kill from Behie and a huge rejection from Danae Shephard would highlight the 'Birds next run of action leading to a 20-12 lead and a timeout from the visitors. The T-Birds would secure the set thanks to an effective block from Hanly taking us to set point at 24-14 before Behie added the final of her set high 4 kills and 25-14 win for the T-Birds who enjoyed a .688 hitting efficiency in the frame.
"I thought we moved the ball around well with a spread-out offence for a second night in a row," added Reimer. "I like how we're trending right now as we move ahead and prep for some tough matches down the stretch."
The Heat got out to a 3-1 lead in the third set ahead of Robersten asserting herself once again by going sky high for two straight kills to even the proceedings a 3-3. Van Ryk would add a string of four kills helping the 'Birds extend their lead to 19-14 before Grills and Finan would trade consecutive kills bringing us to 23-17 for the hosts. Robertsen closed out the set the way she started it with a set clinching block for the 25-17 win and a 3-0 victory.
The Heat will now enjoy a bye week before hosting the Regina Cougars on February 1 and 2, while UBC will travel to take on the rival and No.1 ranked Trinity Western Spartans next weekend.
PHOTO: Rich Lam / UBC Thunderbirds