Home Canada West No. 1-ranked UBCO tops Thompson Rivers to win ninth match in a...

No. 1-ranked UBCO tops Thompson Rivers to win ninth match in a row

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Michelle Jakszuk
Outside hitter Michelle Jakszuk dominated the game with a match-high 12 kills for the UBCO Heat. (Oliver Rizun/UBCO Heat photo)

KELOWNA, B.C. (from UBCO Heat) — The U Sports No. 1-ranked University of British Columbia Okanagan Heat women’s volleyball team used a balance attack Thursday night to defeat the visiting Thompson Rivers University WolfPack (7-14) in four sets. With the win, the Heat improve to 17-4 on the season and remain in second place in the Canada West.

It was smooth sailing through the first two sets for the Heat but the WolfPack would extend the match with a third set win. UBC Okanagan have yet to drop more than a single set since the Christmas break, running to nine consecutive wins. Five different Heat players recorded at least seven kills on the night, led by graduating outside hitter, Michelle Jakszuk, with 12.

First set: (25-22)

Heat head coach Steve Manuel was forced into a timeout late in the set with the upset minded ‘Pack leading 20-18 following an ace from Yevgeniya Nyukhalova. This would turn the tides in the firs as UBCO would tie things up at 21 a piece, but the first service error of the first set would put the home team down once again. Aidan Lea would tie it up once again and Ann Richards would serve out an exciting first set with the Heat winning 25-22.

Second set: (25-15)

It was all the hometown team throughout the second, as they scored the first six points to take a commanding lead and wouldn’t let the visitors back into it, eventually winning 25-15. The Heat’s offense got hot in the set, as they had 13 kills compared to just three hitting errors. The ‘Pack offense would be a much different story, as they had just four kills the entire set compared to ten attack errors.

Third set: (16-25)

A 17-3 run in the middle portion of the set would be enough for TRU to keep the match alive as they scored eight straight points during the set at one point. Yevgeniya Nyukhalova was once again the catalyst from the service line for the visitors as she had five service aces during this run.

Fourth set: (25-16)

It would be another strong start for the Heat in the fourth set, as they jumped out to a 15-5 lead and never looked back. They would close out the match with a 25-16 win in the final set.

Presidents Cup:
  • Volleyball is the final portion of the Kelowna Kamloops university competition of the Presidents’ Cup between the schools. The Cup is handed out at the end of every season for the cumulative best school in head-to-head results in each gender of Canada West competition.
  • The women’s Cup has already been earned by TRU for the 2017/18 season.
Individual performances:

UBC Okanagan

  • Michelle Jakszuk led the way for the Heat with a game-high 12 kills along with 13 digs for a double-double.
  • Aidan Lea also finished in double-figures on the night, tallying 10 kills on 20 attacks.

Thompson Rivers:

  •  Rachel Windhorst finished with nine kills on the night for the visitors to go with her nine digs.
  • Yevgeniya Nyukhalova had a solid all-around game for the ‘Pack as she finished with 10 digs, seven kills and six service aces.
Inside the numbers:
  • It was a solid hitting display all night from the Heat as they had more total kills (47-29) and a better hitting percentage (.246-.008) then the WolfPack.
  • The visitors would win the battle at the service line on the night, as they had 10 aces and just six service errors. For the Heat it was a struggle serving all night, as they had 13 service errors compared to just eight aces.
Up next:
  • These two teams will meet up once again at 5 p.m. PT Saturday in the Tournament Capital Centre in Kamloops, B.C.

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