In only their second five set match all season long the UBC Okanagan women’s volleyball team were unable to navigate the deciding set on Friday night at the USPORTS Women’s Volleyball Championship presented by Hotel Universel Quebec.
In the final match of the opening day the 4th seed Ryerson Rams pulled off the comeback and sent the 5th seeded Heat to defeat 3-2 (22-25, 18-25, 25-23, 25-23, 15-8).
Winning 21 conference and post season matches on the season, all 21 of which came in three or four sets, the Heat found themselves all season long in only one match that went the distance. A loss at home in early November to Mount Royal.
With no experience in full length matches UBCO was unable to stop the bleeding as Ryerson took every advantage and came all the way back after losing the first two sets.
By virtue of their win in five sets, the Ontario champions kept their undefeated record intact, after they won all 19 regular season matches and another three in the OUA playoffs.
Ryerson could claim the first medal in program history on Sunday, but will first face off on Saturday against the Calgary Dinos in the national semi-final.
As for the UBC Okanagan Heat, their first trip to nationals will continue in the consolation round, where they will take on the host Laval Rouge et Or.
Coaches comments (UBC Okanagan):
“We had to battle to win the first 2 sets and then they led every set after that,” said Heat boss Steve Manuel. “We battled back from way behind in the 3rd and 4th but made errors. We didn’t really make them (Ryerson) earn those points. And in the 5th set they earned the points they needed. Ryerson is a very good team, very well coached with great athletes. You can’t let them in the door and this is exactly what we did tonight. They fully took advantage of it.”
Players of the Game
Ryerson Rams: Janelle Albert
UBC Okanagan Heat: Michelle Jakszuk
Janelle Albert had 15 kills, an ace and a block assist to earn player-of-the-game honours for the Rams. For the Heat, Michelle Jakszuk earned the nod with 16 kills, a solo block and an assist.
Story supplied by USPORTS