Columbia athletics

‘Birds host Heat in home court final

The UBC Thunderbirds (7-5) return to War Memorial Gym for their final home weekend of the season as they host the UBC Okanagan Heat (6-4) Friday at 6:00 p.m. (PT) and Saturday at 3 p.m. afternoon (PT). The T-Birds will honor senior graduates Laura MacTaggart and Jess Goodridge Friday evening in recognition of their contributions in blue and gold.

UBC is on a three-game winning streak after a series sweep against the University of Fraser Valley Cascades (5-7) in Abbotsford last weekend. With outstanding performance of Cara Kovacs, Claire Cossari and the two ferrymen – Kayla Oxland and Lucy Borowski, the T-Birds have won back-to-back four-set road victories and continue to build momentum. The ‘Birds are now second in the West Division, just two points ahead of the UBCO Heat, with two weeks remaining in the regular season.

“I think that was another example of good depth and a lot of players making solid contributions,” the UBC head coach said. Doug Reimer referring to last weekend’s sweep in the valley. “For example, when Kayla sprained her ankle on Saturday morning Lucy Borowski stepped in did a good job setting up his first full game. I think we can bring a lot of attack and different players come in at different times.”

The Heat have lost three consecutive outings heading into the weekend – losing a five-set match to the Thompson Rivers University WolfPack on January 29e before losing 3-0, 3-0 to division leaders Trinity Western Spartans (11-1) on February 4e and 5e. This weekend will see the second series of the Canada West season for teams that shared their first two-game series in Kelowna in early December.

“We had two tough games in December and I expect good volleyball and a real battle on both days,” added Reimer. “There were a lot of swings in momentum as the serve and passes came and went from both sides. To be successful, we will need to continue to improve our entire team in blocking and defending.”

Tickets for the home ground final are available online for free, while all the action will be streamed live on Canada West TV.