(UBC Okanagan Athletics)

UBCO Heat drop volleyball home-opener

Men and women squads get a rematch against the University of Alberta on Saturday

The UBC Okanagan volleyball clubs took a hit at their home-opener Friday night.

Both the men and women hosted their first home games of the season against the University of Alberta and both Heat squads came away with losses.

The men lost in straight sets to the Alberta Golden Bears while the women dropped a five-set nail-biter against the Alberta Pandas.

Both squads are set for a rematch with Alberta Saturday afternoon.

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Despite a solid effort, the Heat men couldn’t get the flame burning against a top Alberta team.

UBCO dropped the sets 25-19, 26-24 and 25-19 in their first game of the season.

Head coach Brad Hudson said the team needs to keep moving forward after the loss.

“We’ve got a great group of kids that care a ton, and they’ve been working really hard,” said Hudson.

“The difference in that game may have been just a little bit of composure at crucial times.”

The Heat’s Max Heppell had 17 kills, tied for most in the game.

UBCO and UofA go for game two at the Okanagan Campus at 6 p.m.

READ MORE: West Kelowna Warriors inched out in shoot-out loss

In the five-set thriller in the women’s match, the Heat took sets one and three but ran out of gas as the Pandas took over in the extra two sets where they outscored the Heat 35-23.

It was the Heat’s third game of the season as UBCO new-comer Hellen Lacava led the way with 16 kills.

Head coach Steve Manuel said that the team battled hard and that’s what’s expected all season.

“We’re right in there with everybody, regardless of how young we are,” said Manuel.

“For our team to have no quit and just battle all the way through, it’s going to pay off.”

The two clubs get their rematch at 4 p.m. at UBC Okanagan

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