The University of British Columbia

PREVIEW: Heat host Bisons in best-of-three playoff series

PREVIEW: Heat host Bisons in best-of-three playoff series

What you need to know - Playoffs

  • The top eight teams in Canada West advanced to the CW Quarter-finals, which is a best of three series.
  • The four QF winners will advance to the CW Semi-finals (Mar. 1-4), another best of three at the higher remaining seed. Those four teams will also all qualify for the U SPORTS national championship at Laval Mar. 16-18, 2018. 
  • The Canada West championship will be a single match pitting the two victories of the semi-finals at the highest remaining seed (Mar. 9-10).


FRIDAY, FEB 23rd, 2018 | GAME 1 
6 PM PST | #3 seed UBC Okanagan Heat (19-5) vs the #6 seed Manitoba Bisons (12-12)
Webcast | Live Stats | Tickets 

SATURDAY, FEB 24th, 2018 | GAME 2
5 PM PST | UBC Okanagan Heat vs the Manitoba Bisons
Webcast | Live Stats | Tickets 

SUNDAY, FEB 25th, 2018 | GAME 3 (if necessary)
4 PM PST | UBC Okanagan Heat vs the Manitoba Bisons
Webcast | Live Stats | Tickets 

To be played at the Gymnasium at UBC Okanagan.

Quick hits:

- The Heat women's volleyball team will look to lock up a spot in the U SPORTS national championship this weekend when they host the Manitoba Bisons in a best-of-three series.

- These two teams met last weekend in Winnipeg in the final two games of the regular season, with the two teams each winning a match.

- The Heat have reached the Canada West semifinals, previously known as the Final Four, the past four seasons, including a conference silver medal and national bronze medal in 2015-16.

Weekend recap:

- It was a tale of two stories last weekend in Winnipeg when these two teams met paths, as the Heat won in four sets on Friday night while the Bisons got a four set victory of their own on Saturday night to clinch a playoff spot.

- Michelle Jakszuk was the star of the night on Friday night, as she had a career-high 20 kills along with a team-high 16 digs to help the Heat to victory. On the night, UBCO would have 59 kills compared to just 33 for the home town Bisons.

- The Heat would get off to a hot start on Saturday night, winning the first set 25-23 but it was all Bisons from there on out. The home team would hit .282 as a team over the final three sets to take home the victory in the last game of the regular season.

Keys to the matchup:

- The service line has been somewhat of an achilles heal for the Heat over the past few games as they have struggled to keep the ball in play. Over the past four games, the Heat have had more service errors than aces in every matchup including 10 errors compared to just five aces in the loss last Saturday to the Bisons.

- Home court has been smooth sailing so far this season for the Heat, as they are 9-2 on the season and have won their last eight matches in the Furnace dating back to the beginning of November. They will look to take advantage of their home-court advantage against the Bisons who have struggled on the road this season, going just 5-6 in the regular season.

Balanced attack

- The Heat were the most balanced attack in all of U SPORTS in the regular season, with four different players eclipsing the 225 kills mark. A quick look at the Canada West history books, back to the 2006-07 season, it was the first time that four teammates have each had over 225 kills in a season. To note the only teams that were close were the undefeated 2009-10 UBC team that had four players over 200 kills, and the 2006-07 TWU squad that had five players over 215 kills.

- Michelle Jakszuk led the way with a career-high 246 during the regular season with Siobhan Fitzpatrick not far behind with 244. Aidan Lea and Ann Richards were the other two attackers part of this group with 226 apiece on the season.

UBCO Head to head with the Bisons: (11-3 in Canada West regular season, 2-0 postseason)

- The Heat and Bisons faced off in a CW quarter-final series in the 2014-15 season, with UBCO winning the first two games in Kelowna to advance to the final four.

Scouting Manitoba: 

- It was a strong finish to the season for the Bisons, as they won six of their last eight games to finish the regular season at 12-12.  This will mark the first time Manitoba has made the post-season since the 2014-15 season when they also finished as the sixth seed. In 2013-14 the Bisons won the national championship.

- The Bisons were one the best defensive teams in the conference during the regular season, as they had the most digs (1604) and fourth most total blocks (216) in all of Canada West.

Impact players:

- Right side hitter Kearley Abbott was the Bisons primary option on offense throughout the regular season, as the second year player had 317 kills to lead all Manitoba hitters. Abbott also was a strong defensive presence for the team as she had 245 digs during the season.

- Senior libero Cassie Bujan had a historic season for the Bison as she would finish the year 410 digs in the regular season. This is the second best mark in Canada West history and is only bested by Taylor Ungar's 426 this season.

- Returning fifth year setter Brittany Habing is a co-captain of the team and returned to the program for final year after spending the past two seasons with the national development team, she was the starting setter on Manitoba's national championship squad.

2018 Graduation
June 8, 2018 2018 Graduation
2018 Playoff Schedule
February 19, 2018 2018 Playoff Schedule