Fresh off their bye week and their tickets punched to the 2019 Canada West playoffs, the Alberta Golden Bears and Pandas
want to continue to push strong towards the post-season when they host the UBC Okanagan Heat
this weekend at Saville Community Sports Centre.
The No.6 Bears (13-5) host struggling UBCO (0-18) at 6 p.m. in game one on Friday before playing their second game at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday. The No.7 Pandas (14-6) face UBCO (2-18) in the second Friday game at 7:30 p.m. before battling them in game one on Saturday at 5 p.m. All games are available live on Canada West TV.
Sweep Streak for Bears
The Golden Bears have certainly had the Heat’s number over the last decade. Alberta has a perfect 7-0 regular record against UBCO since the 2011-12 season.
Throughout the Golden Bears dominance of UBCO, Alberta has only lost four sets during that span.
The battle between the Pandas and UBCO over the last decade has been much tighter between the two schools. The Pandas and Heat are deadlocked with a 7-7 regular record against each other over the last 10 years.
Alberta swept UBCO two seasons ago, while the Heat returned the favour last year.
Fantastic in February
After a rough month of January, that saw the Golden Bears get swept for the first time at home in almost two decades, Alberta will look to turn the page in their first games of February.
The month of February has been kind to the Golden Bears. They’ve posted a record of 26-9 on home court since the 2010-11 season.
The Pandas are even stronger in the month of February, posting a 29-6 record over the last decade.
Pandas digging it
The Pandas rank second in the Canada West in team digs with 1,292, behind the Manitoba Bisons who sit in top spot with 1,324.
The Pandas are led by a two sophomore’s in the digs department. Outside hitter Julia Zonneveld sits fifth in the conference with 3.83 digs per set, while libero Jenae Eisler is seventh with 3.75 digs per set.
Sani’s smashing it
Golden Bears third-year outside hitter Taryq Sani sits third in the conference with 258 kills and fifth in kills per set (3.63). Sani is coming off back-to-back 22 kill efforts, a season-high against Saskatchewan two weeks ago.
Sani led the Canada West conference last year with 362 kills. His career-high is 24 kills (Nov.3, 2017 at Regina). Sani has 726 career kills.
If the Pandas can sweep UBCO this weekend, Alberta head coach Laurie Eisler can pass the late legendary head coach Clare Drake for second in career conference wins (393).
She’s also five games away from passing the Hockey Hall of Fame for most conference games coached (544).
Senior setter Mariah Walsh, as well as Calgary’s Leah Shevkenek, are chasing history, respectively sitting third (3,672) and second (3,738) behind Winnipeg/Manitoba alum Brittany Habing (3,786) for the career conference assist record.
Walsh needs 115 to pass Habing for the current CW record, or an average of 28.75 per match over their final four games.
Walsh is currently leading CW with 10.68 assists per set this season, and second all-time with 9.841 A/S.