What you need to know
GAME TIMES (PST)
All matches to be played at the Dr. David W. Atkinson Gymnasium at MacEwan University, Edmonton.
Early Season Form
- The Canada West men's volleyball season is always a grind with seven of ten teams routinely ranked top-10 in the country, the early season schedule for UBC Okanagan started off particularly difficult with UBC and defending national champion Trinity Western Spartans in the first two weeks. In week three against the Cougars at home the Heat won their first match on Friday in a five setter by taking sets four and five to comeback on MRU. On Saturday the two teams played another five setter with Mount Royal turning the tables and winning sets 4-5 for a split weekend.
- With the injury in week one at 2016-17 Canada West Rookie Team member Kyle Hinchey the Heat has needed to shuffle the lineup to generate the offense.
- Starting at setter for all ten sets this past weekend was Morgan Nichols. The first year player graduate this past June of Lake Country's George Elliot Secondary dished out 76 assists guiding the Heat. He also tallied four blocks and 19 digs.
- Moving to power was setter Jon Russo, also a graduate of George Elliot, he swung for 15 kills and spun an impressive six aces scoring 23.5 points in the two games against the Cougars.
- Joshua Harvey didn't stay in the middle against MRU, he also moved to the outside on Friday night and scored 19.5 points with 14 kills.
- A super sub on Friday, Devon Cote played lights out in the UBCO win with 10 kills on 18 swings in just three sets, on Saturday moving into the starting lineup Cote had a team-high 15 kills on 33 swings. the third year player also finished Saturday with three aces, three blocks scoring 19.5 points.
- Against MRU the Heat spun 13 total service aces as a team and now total 32 - fourth best in the conference; however they are also serving aggressively with 85 service errors second most in the conference.
Head to Head vs MacEwan: (5-1)
- Last season MacEwan and UBC Okanagan closed out the conference season against each other in Kelowna on Feb. 24-25. The Heat men won both - both in four sets - to close out the season with their highest win total in Canada West with nine wins.
- The only loss to the Griffins by UBCO was in February of 2016 in Edmonton where the Griffins blitzed the Heat in a straight set victory. UBCO would bounce back and win in five the next night however. Those two are the only conference matches played in Edmonton.
Scouting the Griffins:
- Through four games, the Griffins have lost two games in five-sets along with two games in three-sets.
- Last weekend they took the nationally ranked University of Alberta Pandas to five sets on the road but would eventually be defeated.
- The (0-4) Griffins have just finished their bye weekend and are 0-3 on the road and 0-1 at home. The Griffin's opened the season at TRU falling in Kamloops both nights in four sets, the second weekend of play was against the cross town U of A Golden Bears. At MacEwan on the Friday night the Griiffins took a set off of Alberta, on Saturday the Bears at the Saville Centre swept MacEwan.
Player to watch:
- The preseason player to watch for the Griffins - Max Vriend, Middle Blocker, 3rd-year - did not play the last time out for the Griffins. Vriend was not rostered on the Oct. 28-29 matches against the Alberta Golden Bears. He hasn't played since October 21 and will be a difference maker for the Grifffins if he is on the court. Vriend has started for the Griffins since his freshman season and is becoming one of the top middles in Canada West. For the past two summers, he's been on the Canadian Jr. National Team and the gamut of skills he's honed there have led to improvements within the conference. Already in his young career, Vriend holds the top two marks in MacEwan's Canada West history for blocks in a season with 74 in 2015-16 and 72 in 2016-17.
- Kai Hesthammer is averaging 3.2 points per set for MacEwan, as their top point getter the fourth year outside hitter from Norway already has six aces and 40 kills in their first four matches.
Caleb Weiss / S / 1 / Sherwood Park, Alta. / Strathcona Christian, Team Alberta
Ryan Zachary / OH / 1 / Airdrie, Alta. / W.H. Croxford, Team Alberta
Liam Huth / MB / 1 / Sherwood Park, Alta. / Strathcona Christian, Team Alberta
Jordan Krause / OH / 1 / Sherwood Park, Alta. / Strathcona Christian
Matt Mohler / S / Edmonton, Alta. / 5
Lee Iverson / OH / Edmonton, Alta. / 4
Ryan McDonald / OH / Westlock, Alta. / 5
Kirk Testawich / LB / Grande Prairie, Alta. / 1