The Thompson Rivers University WolfPack men’s volleyball team bent but didn’t break as they won their final Canada West match before the Christmas break.
Playing at the “Furnace” in Kelowna, the ‘Pack downed the University of British Columbia Okanagan Heat 3-1. The scores were 25-22,22-25,25-23,25-23.
TRU moves to 4-8 on the year while UBCO falls to 3-0.
“Both teams played better volleyball than on Thursday,” explained WolfPack head coach Pat Hennelly referencing his teams five set loss to the Heat. “We had the potential to be a little rattled after they won the second set but we showed some great composure in the third and fourth sets.”
TRU was led by Brad Gunter (5th year, outside hitter, Courtenay,BC) with 16 kills, two service aces and 14 digs.
Randy Grundmann (3rd year, outside hitter, Winnipeg, MB) had 13 kills and seven digs.
Hennelly praised the play of his three Kelowna players—Tyler Pomietlarz (3rd year, setter), Isaac Smit (2nd year, libero/outside hitter) and Sam Taylor Parks (1st year, middle).
“If I had to pick a player of the match it would have been Tyler,” said Hennelly. “He was a leader in the fourth set with a big serving run and a big block. It was likely the best match he has ever played in a TRU uniform. He showed some dynamic moves which was the result of his hard work in the weight room. He seized the opportunity that I tell the guys they have—when you get a chance show up with their best effort.”
Pomietlarz had 34 assists and two service aces.
Smit had 12 digs. “Isaac had probably his best defensive game at the CIS level. His efforts picked up our defense. Sam had some great blocks as well,” Hennelly added.
UBCO was led by Lars Bornemann with 20 kills. Eli Russo had 13 digs.
“This was a great way to end the first half,” Hennelly stated. “It was a nice road win.”
The WolfPack are off until they host their holiday tournament on December 29th and 30th at the Tournament Capital Centre. UBCO, University of Calgary Dinos and Royal Military College of Ontario will be the opponents. TRU will also train with the Lethbridge College Kodiaks (ACAC), who are coached by former WolfPack player and assistant Mike Hawkins during the break.
They return to Canada West play on Friday, January 8 th when they visit the Mount Royal University Cougars in Calgary.
TRU’s next home match isn’t until Friday, January 15th when they entertain the University of Saskatchewan Huskies on the Warner Rentals Court at the Tournament Capital Centre. Game time is 7:45 pm.
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