UNB falls 3-1 to UBC to split two game series

UNB falls 3-1 to UBC to split two game series

FREDERICTON N.B. - The UNB Varsity Red's men's volleyball team split the series with a 3-1 loss to the UBC Thunderbirds in preseason play. 

After taking the first of the two game series, UNB was looking to continue their winning ways and send UBC home defeated in both contests.  But UBC more rested and adjusted to the time gave UNB a better run for their money.

Irvan Brar (Surrey, B.C.) led the way with 15 kills on only one error, Ryan Colpitts (Fredericton, NB) was the man to beat for UNB with 12 kills.

The match started off with similar play to yesterdays tilt. Not giving an inch, both teams shared the lead back and forth through the majority of the set. UBC continued offensive power, however the Varsity Reds block was not as consistent as the night before.

Despite a UNB timeout in the early stages of the set, UNB could not seem to find a way to keep serve. A late push by the Thunderbirds gave them their largest lead of the set and would not let UNB back into it.

UNB managed to stay tight to the Thunderbirds, largely due to eight miss serves at the line for UBC. UBC were able to take the set 25-19, a much stronger start on their road trip. Irvan Brar once again played a valuable part of UBC's offence missing only one of his seven kill attempts.
UBC carried its momentum in the second set. UNB didn't seem on par with the Thunderbirds' elevated rate of play. Trailing for the majority of the set, and back on their heels, UNB fought to stay within only a few points.

After the technical timeout UNB allowed their opponents to go on a 6-2 point run, a crucial series of points that helped UBC cruise to a second set win 25-20.

With their back against the ball, UNB had no choice but to steal a set off the Thunderbirds. UNB's offence began to wake up, and put some kills on the board. Speeding up their offence, the Varsity Reds were able to get the UBC block moving and out of position.

Two massive saves by Tristen Burridge (Fort St. John, B.C.) kept the service run alive, and ignited the home crowd. With the fans now behind them, UNB looked to make it a match. A big service ace by Mathieu Losier (Fredericton, NB) late in the set was the final nail that put UBC away. UNB was given a fighting chance taking the set 25-20.

However the push would stop there for the Varsity Reds. Trailing early and unable to string any kind of run together, UNB conceded a tough 13-25 forth and final set to end the match. 

UBC played at a much higher pace this evening and Sean Sanderson, coaching staff for UBC believes that's what really got their offence going.

"Our line swings were way more involved, so were our middles way more engaged, that opened up the pipe swingers for us," he said. "Alex Russell and J.B (Jean-Benoit) Gagne did very well, they were great leaders out there, and I think that sparked our team."

 "Last night I felt we were a tone more engaged," said UNB head coach Dan McMorran. "I thought UBC did a terrific job tonight and we were just slow in every department."

Despite the loss, McMorran thought this match and series was a great lesson for his squad approaching the season.

"I thought UBC allowed us to play at high level last night, and coming in here today, might be the best thing that could have happened," he said. "If you don't bring you're A-game against a tough competitor, you should lose, and we lost tonight as a result from that."

The Varsity Red's men's volley ball team will head to Dalhousie University October 23rd for interlock play against the Université de Laval Rouge et Or.


Michael Bourgeois for UNB communications