Oliver Rizun, Heat Sports Information
KELOWNA, B.C. - In the final regular season match for both teams, it was the Thompson Rivers University WolfPack who came out on top in four sets on Saturday night in Kelowna.
After TRU captured the opening two sets it was the Heat who came on strong in the third to force the match into a fourth frame in the UBC Okanagan Gym. UBCO held the lead early in the fourth and had momentum on their side but were unable to close things out as the WolfPack won their second straight over the Heat.
With the win, the 'Pack finish the regular season with a 13-11 record and will travel to Edmonton for the first round of the playoffs to face the Pandas. UBCO closes out their Canada West season with a 2-22 record.
Aidan Lea led the UBCO hitting attack on the night, as the senior middle had 17 kills and four solo blocks to go with five block assists. Rookie Sydney Grills was outstanding once again as she had 14 put-aways on the night. Ann Richards also had 13 kills in her final game in a Heat uniform.
Lea was honoured along with Richards and Sophia Furlan following the match in the annual Seniors Night ceremony.
The 'Pack were balanced all night long attacking wise, as four separate players finished in double-figures in terms of kills led by Olga Savenchuk with 13 and 18 digs.
Neither team got off to a great start offensively in the match as the first frame was a lot of out-of-system attacking. UBCO led 18-13 just after the media timeout and while it looked like they had the set wrapped up, the visitors hung in with them and would later tie the set up at 22 following a big block from Anastasiia Muzyka and Avery Pottle. On set point Erin Mutch would step up with a clutch service ace for the 'Pack to give them the first set 25-22.
The second frame would be tight till the end, the TRU held a narrow 16-15 advantage at the technical timeout however every time the 'Pack looked to pull away, the home team countered. UBCO tied things up at 19 and then again at 20 but the end of the set was controlled by the visitors as they took the set 25-21.
It was an offensive outburst in the third for home team as they hit .300 in the frame and had just four errors. While it was tightly contested to start the set it was all Heat to finish, as they closed the set on a 6-2 run to push the match into a fourth set.
The momentum for the home team continued to start the fourth, as they went up 5-2 early on and looked like they got themselves right back into the match. Eight points later it was a completely different match, as the 'Pack rattled off eight in a row to regain control once again. UBCO cut the deficit to just three at 19-16 but were unable to get any closer.