The Trinity Western University Spartans outlasted the Thompson Rivers University WolfPack in a marathon day of Canada West exhibition men’s volleyball in Kamloops.
The two Canada West squads played a five set scrimmage on Friday (Oct. 4) afternoon before playing an official exhibition match Friday night.
In that match, the Spartans beat the WolfPack 3-0 at the Tournament Capital Centre. The scores were 25-23,25-20,25-21. Trinity Western also won the scrimmage after beating the ‘Pack in four sets in an exhibition match on Thursday (Oct. 3).
TRU was led by Courtenay’s Brad Gunter (3rd year, outside hitter) with nine kills in 20 opportunities. Philip Ozari (2nd year, outside hitter, Birkerod, Denmark) had seven kills in 21 chances and a team high seven digs.
Meanwhile, TRU started strong but ran into a few hiccups as they dropped a 3-1 exhibition to the Spartans Thursday night. The scores were 21-25, 25-23, 25-19, 26-24.
“It started out good but in the second set we lacked a bit of discipline down the stretch,” stated WolfPack head coach Pat Hennelly. “ We fell back into some old habits. We weren’t aware of the situation certain times both offensively and defensively. It is early in the season but we have some veteran guys out there who have to be better at picking up on those cues. The last set was 26-24 and a couple of points make all the difference.”
Gunter again led the way for the WolfPack with 22 kills in 47 chances and 15 digs and according to Spartans’ head coach Ben Josephson was the player of the game.
“ I had him last summer and a bit this summer (with Team BC). How much he has improved is mind blowing. For a guy to play that well at this stage of the season is unbelievable. He will be a force in Canada West.”
Trinity Western will head to Kelowna for weekend (Oct. 10-12) matches with UBCO. The WolfPack open the Canada West regular season Oct. 25 in Kelowna against UBCO. Their home opener is the next night against the same UBCO Heat.
Meanwhile, Gunter was instrumental in the WolkPack’s Canada West exhibition victory over the University of British Columbia Okanagan Heat on Sept. 27.
At Prince George, over 1,400 people crammed into the University of Northern British Columbia gym to see the ‘Pack cool off the Heat 3-0 (25-15, 25-16, 25-21).
Gunter had 12 kills. “Brad has only been practising with us for a week,” said TRU head coach Pat Hennelly. “But it’s apparent that his summer with the Junior National team has paid off. He has clearly improved and is dominant already.”
– TRU WolfPack