Courtenay’s Brad Gunter and the Thompson Rivers University WolfPack will open their 2013-14 Canada West men’s volleyball season against their closest geographical rival.
The ‘Pack will be playing a home-and-home weekend series with the University of British Columbia Okanagan Heat on Oct. 25-26. The Heat and WolfPack women will be squaring off Friday, Oct. 25 at the Tournament Capital Centre in Kamloops while the men’s squads will do the same in Kelowna.
The teams will switch venues for the following night (Oct. 26). Game time for both the women’s and the men’s home openers will be 7 p.m.
The WolfPack are hoping to make it back into the playoffs in both the men’s and women’s leagues this coming season. Thompson Rivers, under the direction of Pat Hennelly, was in the playoff hunt in Canada West men’s volleyball until the final weeks of the season in 2012-13. They finished tied for eighth with a record of 8-14. The WolfPack women’s program went through a major restructuring and failed to register in the win column in 22 starts.
Both teams return a number of players.
The WolfPack men will be led by three fifth-year players –middle Jacob Tricarico (Huntington Beach, CA), setter Colin Carson and libero Spencer Reed (both Prince George, B.C.).
Returnees expected to be big contributors in 2013-14 include former Vanier Towhee Gunter who is spending the summer with Canada’s Junior National men’s team and Phil Ozari (Birkerod, Denmark), who is representing Denmark at the World U-20 championships.
New recruits include Jordan Foot (Prince George, B.C.) and Tyler Pometarz (Kelowna, B.C.) who are both playing with Team BC U-17 squad this summer.
The Thompson Rivers women’s program will be bolstered by the return of Morgan Kolasa (Calgary, AB) and Brianne Rauch (Kimberly, B.C). Both missed the entire 2012-13 Canada West season with injuries.
Katarina Osadchuk (Brisbane, AUS) will return for her fourth season of CIS competition. She is currently playing for the Australian senior women’s volleyball team.
Coach Keith Lundgren has brought in libero Gabby Fortin (Coquitlam, B.C. ) and middle Kaitlin Lomas (Ponoka, AB).
Schools paying a visit to the Tournament Capital Centre this year aside from UBCO will be Calgary, Saskatchewan, Brandon, Trinity Western and Manitoba.
– Thompson Rivers University WolfPack