During last weekend’s series against the Calgary Dinos, the Heat men’s volleyball team fell to their rivals. The Heat suffered three straight sets of losses on Friday (25-11, 25-20, 25-22) as well as on Saturday (25-19, 25-21, 27-25). However, the major roster change on Saturday brought some promising opportunities for the team.
The Heat switched three of their starting players: Morgan Nichols, Matt Aubrey, and Hunter Scott on Friday to Shawn Zhao, Denham O’Reilly and Teo Ardanaz on Saturday.
Despite the loss on Saturday, the major roster change generated stronger statistics for the Heat in comparison to their Friday game. They improved their kill percentage on Saturday to 18.6%, while their Friday stats show a kill percentage of 11.8%.
“We have twelve new faces in the last two years. These are a lot of puzzle pieces and we have to piece them together. The team is learning how to play together, how to embrace the rule, opportunity, and responsibility,” said Head Coach Hudson after the game on Saturday.
During the third set on Saturday night, the Heat were up in the lead with 20-14 advantage. However, the score came to a tie at 20-20, and eventually the Dinos won the match with the middle hitter, Liam Laidlaw, scoring the last two points with a block and a kill.
“With lots of young people in a new roster, the team have to learn to close out the game and take the responsibility,” emphasized Coach Hudson, commenting on the missed opportunity the team experienced in the third set.
Next up, the Heat men’s volleyball will be traveling to Manitoba to play a weekend series against the Bisons. The Heat will not be playing in their home gymnasium until the last series match on February 15th and 16th against the Thompson Rivers Wolfpack.