KAMLOOPS — It is ‘next year’ time for the Thompson Rivers University men’s volleyball team. The WolfPack’s slim Canada West post season hopes were dashed on Friday night (Feb 12).
Playing at the TRU Gym, the WolfPack lost in straight sets to the Trinity Western University Spartans. The scores were 25-21,25-23,25-19. TRU falls to 10-13 on the year while Trinity is 12-9.
“You come into these matches knowing you have a playoff mentality,” stated Spartans coach Ben Josephson. “You have two teams playing for their playoff lives. It was like a tug of war tonight, slowly you pull the rope to your side. Once it starts going your way you can see the momentum shifting. The hard part for tomorrow is that they will get a chance to reset and come at us hard tomorrow.”
“We were beaten in almost every aspect of the game and I have to give credit to Trinity Western,” said TRU head coach Pat Hennelly. “They served tougher than us through the whole match and passed better than we did. I thought we would we would have a little advantage in that area based on how we played last weekend. It seemed like it wasn’t there for us. Blake Sheerhorn hit some pretty big balls against us and we were down early. We struggled from the outside. On a positive note—our young middles (Sam Taylor Parks (Kelowna, BC), Kyle Behiels (Edmonton, AB) did a good job.”
Trinity was led by Ryan Sclater (4th year, outside hitter, Port Coquitlam, BC) who had 17 kills in 33 chances with two service aces, three digs and three block assists. Blake Scheerhoorn (3rd year, outside hitter, Belleville, ON) had 15 kills in 23 chances with two service aces, six digs and a solo block.
Josephson had this to say about Sheerhoorn: “ He is just in his first year of left side play. We say it’s like a video game. Every two weeks he gets upgrades. His arm speed is getting a little harder each couple of weeks. We had a fortunate matchup. We got him away from Gunter (Brad, TRU’s fifth year, outside hitter, Courtenay, BC) , we had a smaller blocker against him and he did a good job against him.”
Scheerhoorn was moved with an eye to him turning professional once he finishes his university career. “ He doesn’t have an exceptional shoulder like Gunter, “ Josephson explains. “ Gunter has a world class right shoulder. Blake doesn’t have that. Blake has world class size and jump. You could get away at the pro level with that. His passing is starting to come along. Blake has a good enough shoulder to have an international career on the left. But on the right, he would be up against guys like Gunter all over the world. Blake is really blossoming and we are lucky to have him for two more years.”
Josephson also liked the play of Scott Plockis. (4th year, setter, Kelowna, BC) “ I thought he was incredible. We didn’t set him up much but he went on a nice serving run (six straight points) in the second set. He was moving the ball around nicely and had some nice stuff blocks at a critical time.” Plockis wound up with one kill in three chances with three service aces, four digs and three block assists.
Adam Schriemer (3rd year, setter, Winnipeg, MB) had 26 assists, three digs and five block assists.
For TRU: Brad Gunter led again with 13 kills in 32 chances with four service aces, three digs and two block assists. He wound up with 18 points. That ups his Canada West record totals to 1,465 kills and 1697.5 points.
Graham Stoliker (5th year, setter, Surrey, BC) had 35 assists and two digs. He was named the “TRU Bookstore/McDonalds Leader of the Pack” player of the match.
“We seemed to be thinking too much about the outcomes tonight,” Hennelly stated. “We weren’t ready to meet the challenge. When a guy like Scheerhoorn, one of the most physical guys in the league hits some tough balls down the middle. A point is a point but we certainly let it affect us. “
The two teams will meet again Saturday (Feb 13) at the TRU Gym. Game time is 6:45 pm. Before the match, the WolfPack will honor their three fifth year players: Gunter, Stoliker and Brandon Hewwing (outside hitter, Calgary, AB).
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