HALIFAX, NS - The UBC Okanagan Heat women's volleyball team captured a big three set win in Halifax on Friday night as they took down the host Dalhousie Tigers in their first preseason action of the 2016-17 season.
The win, came in the first action for the team since defeating UBC last March in the national consolation final in Brandon, MB. Although the team has changed, over 30-percent of their roster has turned over due to graduation, the result on the court is similar to last year's national bronze medal winning team. In the opening round of the National Championships the Heat swept the Dalhousie Tigers away, much the same way they did tonight in Halifax.
In the Friday exhibition heads coach Steve Manuel used his entire roster for the three set match, fourteen players saw action on the court in the Dalplex. Five of the six players starting were returning players (Emily Oxland, Megan Festival, Michelle Jakszuk, Erin Drew, and Siobhan Fitzpatrick) the only newcomer on the court was 6-foot five middle Aidan Lea.
Lea was impressive offensively, she finished with 11 kills on 17 attacks (.647), she also had two of the team's seven blocks. Next in kills were: Siobhan Fitzpatrick (7), Megan Festival (6), and Michelle Jakszuk (6). Fifth year setter Emily Oxland was backed up very capably at the position by first year Sara McCreary. McCreary had 20 assists and two aces while Oxland finished with 16 and a single ace.
Along with McCreary and Lea seeing action for the first time as members of the Heat were: Tessa Neil (Kelowna, BC), Brooklyn Reynolds (Regina, SK), Quinci Birker (Kelowna, BC), Skye Thompson (Calgary, AB) and Natalie Livingston (Kelowna, BC).
This was the only scheduled match between these two squads, however they will continue to train and scrimmage together while UBC remains in Halifax. The trip for the Kelowna squad will span September 15-18 (Thursday-Sunday).
The Heat will see the court in an exhibition match in Kamloops on September 23 and then at home on September 24th in an Alumni match. The highlight of the preseason will be the intra-squad matchup on Tuesday, September 24 for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
The conference season will begin on home court on October 28 versus the Brandon Bobcats.