KAMLOOPS --- Volleyball kicks off its new Canada West season this weekend, on home court, against the MacEwan Griffins from Edmonton.
For coach Chad Grimm and the WolfPack women this is life after Iuliia. Iuliia Pakhomenko, their star player the last three years, played out her eligibility last season.
"Anytime you lose the best player in the league, it makes your team different" says coach Chad Grimm.
Grimm may have another Iuliia in this seasons mix ---- he's dipped into the Ukranian talent pool to add two more first year players.
One of them is 6-4 outside hitter Yevgeniya Nyukhalova --- she goes by "Jane".
"I played 10 years ago with one really good player -- Iuliia Pakhomenko -- you know her?" asks Jane.
Says Grimm "Iuliia pretty well took care of that whole thing", in getting Jane to TRU and the WolfPack.
When asked about a comparison to her former teammate in the Ukraine Jane says "this is the worst question a volleyball player can hear from someone -- it's like asking who's better you or Usain Bolt in running."
Grimm says "she can score points --- she'll bring a different dynamic --- more vocal, so that's a different personality.
The big news out of the men's camp is the return of coach Pat Hennelly after taking a year off to pursue his masters degree, shed 40 pounds and recharge his coaching batteries.
Says Hennelly "I think it was good for everyone --- a chance to see a different perspective from coaching."
One of Hennelly's off season signings is 6-9 outside hitter Tim Dobbert from Germany.
Dobbert played the las two seasons with NCAA Division One Brigham Young University --- going to the national final twice.
Hennelly says this is "probably the tallest team we've ever had --- I think we're one of the biggest teams in Canada West this year."
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