KELOWNA - The UBC Okanagan men’s volleyball team hosted their first round robin invitational tournament at the UBC Okanagan gymnasium this past weekend.
The three day tournament welcomed the University of Saskatchewan Huskies, the Mount Royal Cougars, and the Thompson Rivers WolfPack.
As many of the teams joined for their first weekend of preseason play, the three day event began Thursday (Sept. 29) with the Huskies playing the Cougars. With a hard fought battle the Huskies were able to claim the first win of the weekend with an impressive four set win against the Cougars (19-25, 27-25, 25-21, 26-24).
The second match of the event brought the hometown Heat against the Thompson Rivers WolfPack. First year coach Brad Hudson was able to showcase his new team in his new gym for the first of many games this upcoming year. As the Heat begin a new season with a young roster they were able to push the match to five sets where they ultimately fell to the WolfPack 3-2 (20-25, 22-25, 25-22, 25-19, 16-14).
Friday brought on similar play as the first game of the day was played by Thompson Rivers and the University of Saskatchewan. With a win in just four sets the Huskies quickly built chemistry and claimed their second win of the tournament. (11-25, 25-22, 31-29, 25-12).
The second game of the day was played by the hometown Heat and the Mount Royal Cougars. With close competition the Heat were able to push the game to a fifth set where they lost in the final two plays of the game. 3-2 (19-25, 25-22, 25-22, 20-25, 15-13).
In the final day of the round robin, the WolfPack played their final game against the Mount Royal Cougars. As the game was close from start to finish the WolfPack were able to claim their first win of the weekend against the Cougars (19-25, 19-25, 25-21, 25-20, 15-11). With the loss for the Cougars their record for this weekend stands at (1-2).
In the final game of the UBC Okanagan invitational the Heat played the University of Saskatchewan Huskies. The Huskies in charge of most of the game were a strong learning experience for the young Heat squad and in the third set the Heat were able to take charge and push the match to a fourth where they were they lost. L, 3-1 (25-13, 19-25, 25-18, 25-20).
The Heat come out of this weekends tournament with a record of (0-3) while the Huskies finished with an umblemished record.
Coming out of this weekends games, first year Heat coach Coach Hudson said "We were happy to host Mount Royal University, the University of Saskatchewan, and Thompson Rivers. All three were well coached and exceptionally competitive despite being the preseason. Canada West Men's volleyball is arguably the most competitive collegiate men's volleyball league in North America. This type of preseason competition is essential to help prepare our team for whats to come."
With this weekend of play finished the Heat will continue their preseason on the road as they will head to the coast to play in the West Coast Classic, where they draw Mount Royal first (Oct. 20) at UBC Vancouver with a start time of 5 p.m. Their second game will be played against UBC on (Oct. 21) at the Langley Events Centre at 5 p.m. And their third and final game of the weekend will be played against Trinity Western (Oct. 22) at 5 p.m. the location of the third game is TBD.