KAMLOOPS – His team lost, but Brad Gunter impressed in his CIS debut.
On Oct. 28, the Calgary Dinos spoiled the Canada West men’s volleyball home and regular season debut for the Thompson Rivers University WolfPack. Before a big crowd at the TCC, the WolfPack fell 3-1 (25-23, 23-25, 25-20, 25-18) to the visiting Dinos.
TRU was led by Gunter (first year, right side, Courtenay). In his CIS debut, Gunter had 13 kills in 34 opportunities and added six digs and one block assist. He was one of two players who garnered praise from coach Pat Hennelly.
“I thought he was excellent all game,” the WolfPack coach stated. “He showed up and at times had great composure. He is a great player. I liked the way he had a good presence on the floor. I couldn’t ask any more from a 17 year old out there.”
It wasn’t so much of Calgary dominating in the contest , it was the WolfPack coming up with some unforced errors. “I think we battled our selves tonight,” said Hennelly. “Communication was an issue. Obviously with a large crowd it is hard to hear. We talked about it in practice. There were times where we were uncertain what to do. It is disappointing in a sense because I think we are better than we were.”
Hennelly said it was an opportunity squandered. Calgary was without one of the top players in the nation in fifth year middle Graham Vigrass (Grande Prairie). “It seemed like we couldn’t rally and put together decent rallies,” Hennelly added.
Hennelly praised the play of third-year setter Colin Carson (Prince George). He had nine digs, two solo blocks, one block assist and 33 assists. Chris Osborne (second year, outside hitter, Phoenix, AZ) had nine kills while Aleks Saddlemyer (fifth year, outside hitter, Sidney) chipped in with eight kills.
“I just asked guys to do what they did in practice,” Hennelly stated looking back at the match. “ For the most part that didn’t happen. It is back to the drawing board. We wanted confident aggression and it wasn’t there.”