WolfPack and Bison women battle to fifth set for second straight match in volleyball

By Larry Read - TRU Athletics
November 26, 2017 - 10:07am Updated: November 27, 2017 - 6:00pm

KAMLOOPS, BC—The fifth set winning streak of the Thompson Rivers University WolfPack women’s volleyball team is over at two.  The WolfPack were taken to a third straight fifth set match in Canada West play on Saturday (Nov 25). 

This time, they were on the short end of the 3-2 decision.

The University of Manitoba Bisons rallied from a 2-0 deficit to beat the WolfPack on the Warner Rentals Court at the Tournament Capital Centre.  The scores were: 23-25,21-25,25-22,25-22,25-17,15-10.

TRU falls back to .500 at 5-5.  The Bisons are also 5-5.


The teams exchanged points from the opening set. The biggest lead was two with Manitoba reaching the 16 point technical time out first  (16-15). But it was TRU who took the first set behind the six kills of Rachel Windhorst (4th year, outside hitter, Surrey, BC). Kearley Abbott(2nd year, right side, Winnipeg, MB)  had five kills to lead the Bisons.

The second set saw the Bisons reach the 16 point mark first again (16-14) But it was the WolfPack who prevailed again in that set. This time 25-21.  Yevgeniya Nyukalova (1st year, outside hitter, Severodontsk, Ukraine) had four kills in that second set for TRU.  Emily Erikson (4th year, middle, Winnipeg, MB) had three for Manitoba.

Manitoba jumped out to a 3-0 lead to begin the third set. TRU quickly tied and took the lead and again the teams battled before the Bisons won by three to cut the deficit to 2-1.  Abbott had seven kills in that third set for the Bisons while Erikson added 3. Windhorst had seven of her own for the ‘Pack.

Manitoba ruled the fourth set winning by eight where they had a team attack of 58 per cent.  They continued that momentum into the fifth as they got to the 8 point mark first (8-4).


Scores by set:

TRU             25    25  22   17  10

Manitoba      23   21  25    25  15


Rachel Windhorst (4th year,outside hitter, Surrey, BC) 21 kills in 65 chances, 16 digs, 1 service ace

Yevgeniya Nyukhalova (1st year, outside hitter, Severodontsk, Ukraine) 19 kills in 66 swings, 16 digs, 1 solo block

Kendra Finch (3rd year outside hitter, North Van, BC) 5 kills in 28 opportunities,20 digs, 1 service ace

Abby Spratt (2nd year, setter, Calgary, AB)50 assists, 4 service aces, 7 digs

Hali Drezet (2nd year, libero, Prince George, BC) 16 digs


Kearley Abbott: 17 kills in 47 chances, 10 digs, 4 block assists, 1 service ace

Josie Abbott: 13 kills in 43 opportunities, 11 digs, 4 block assists, 1 service ace, 2 assists

Emily Erickson:10 kills in 21 swings, 2 digs

Brittany Habing:38 assists, 18 digs

Cassie Bujan: 25 digs


TRU:  5-5  Manitoba: 5-5


TRU head coach Chad Grimm:

On Match: “We ran out of gas. I think if we would have finished it off in three. It was 22-all in the third, if we could have found that extra gear at the end of the third set we would have been in good shape. Credit to Manitoba, they dug in and defended the ball well and extended the rallies like they do. When you have two girls who have had a lot of volume (Windhorst and   ). Credit to Manitoba, they didn’t go away.”

On who played well:  “We could find the extra gear in short stints. I thought some girls had some good starts but faded down the stretch. I thought Abby (Spratt) did a better job distributing the ball and played a better game. That was good to see. I thought Avery had a couple of stints….a lot of girls had a short stint but it wasn’t sustained by the team long enough.”


Manitoba coach Ken Bentley (31 st year):

On match: “We kept fighting. Obviously TRU is a good team, we felt if we could get to the third set we would have a chance in the match. I thought we really fought hard today and played better volleyball. We tried to do a better job against their two top left hitters. I thought we kind of did a better job. We hung in there. I am really proud of how we bounced back after last night’s tough loss.”


The WolfPack will travel to Alberta to play the Pandas on the final weekend before the Canada West breaks for Christmas exams (Saturday and SundayDec 2-3).  Manitoba will go home to host the University of Saskatchewan Huskies on Friday and Saturday (Dec 1-2).

Next home match for Thompson Rivers will be Friday, January 19, 2018 when they entertain those Huskies on the Warner Rentals Court at the Tournament Capital Centre.

TRU returns to regular season play with two weekends of play on the road. They visit Mount Royal  (Jan 5-6) and then Regina (Jan 12-13).

Young TRU women hanging with the pack in Canada West