KAMLOOPS — The Thompson Rivers University WolfPack have moved over the .500 mark in Canada West women’s volleyball.
The WolfPack opened up a weekend series with the visiting University of Manitoba Bisons by beating them 3-1 on the Warner Rentals Court at the Tournament Capital Centre.
The scores on Friday (Jan 29) were 25-17,25-20,24-26,25-19. Thompson Rivers is now 10-9 on the year while Manitoba falls to 2-15.
“It is always nice to win,” stated ‘Pack coach Chad Grimm. “For the most part the first two sets were good. In the third, we got off to a good start but sort of fell off track and let it get away. I was happy with the way we responded in the fourth though.”
Grimm admits his team fell back into some bad habits by letting the lead slip away. “You start hearing footsteps a bit and you get off your game. Hopefully we learn from these situations and come out tomorrow and have a little bit more of a complete performance.”
“It was pretty frustrating,” explained Bisons coach Ken Bentley about the match. “We didn’t play very well at all. We didn’t put up much of a fight. We had chances in each set. We had two or three and then give the ball away. TRU made us pay for it. They did a very good job of that. When they had opportunities they scored. We didn’t put up much resistance.”
The Bisons winning the third set and cutting the WolfPack lead at times didn’t sit as a real positive for the Manitoba coach. “Sure it is a consolation prize. You can’t play in this league and be fighting back from being eight or nine down all the time. At some point you want to get in the fight early so you can put yourself into a position to win the set. Coming back from being down 23-17 wears at you after a while. That is what we were doing this entire match. Winning the third set was flattering but our play is far from being very positive right now.”
TRU was led offensively by Iuliia Pakhomenko (4th year, outside hitter, Donetsk, Ukraine). The Canada West second star of the week had 21 kills in 52 swings with a service ace and 10 digs.
Krista Hogewoning (5th year, outside hitter, Delta, BC) had 17 kills in 33 chances with two service aces, nine digs and two block assists. She and middle Amy Norman (4th year, Dawson Creek, BC) were named the co-winners of the “McDonalds/TRU Bookstore Leader of the Pack” players of the match. Norman had eight kills in 19 opportunities with a service ace, 11 digs a solo block and two block assists.
Both got praise from Grimm. “Both had great matches. Obviously, Iuliia didn’t have her best match. When she is not firing we have to find other ways to get it done. I thought Krista was excellent. She was efficient. She made them play the ball. She had good shots. When we got Amy the ball in the middle she was effective. But also, she led the way in attacking loose balls. She dug some nice balls on defense. She brought a lot to the game which helped energize us tonight.”
Brianne Rauch (4th year, outside hitter, Kimberley, BC) added 13 kills in 31 chances for the ‘Pack. Katie Woo (4th year, setter, Surrey,BC) contributed 53 assists, one service ace and 12 digs while Alyssa Wolf (5th year, libero, South Surrey, BC) had 17 digs and six assists.
Manitoba was led by Tori Studler (2nd year, left side, Grosse Isle, MB) with 9 kills in 32 chances with two service aces and five digs. Angelica Kilberg (1st year, middle, South Surrey, BC) had eight digs in 22 swings with four digs. Sydney Purvis (5th year, setter, Selkirk, MB) had 22 assists and three digs. Caleigh Dobie (4th year, libero, Winnipeg, MB) contributed a team high 12 digs.
The two teams will face off again Saturday (Jan 30) night at the TCC starting at 5 pm.
SIDEOUTS: The WolfPack had an extra player in practice this morning. Hali Drezet of Duchess Park Secondary (Prince George, BC) worked out with them. Drezet will join TRU in the fall.
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