KAMLOOPS—The Thompson Rivers University WolfPack will search for their first victories of the young Canada West men’s volleyball season this weekend in Calgary.
The WolfPack (0-2) will meet up with the host University of Calgary Dinos (1-1) at the Jack Simpson Gym on Friday and Saturday (Oct. 17-18).
Thompson Rivers is coming off being swept last weekend by the Trinity Western University Spartans. “We struggled a bit staying consistent,” said WolfPack head coach Pat Hennelly about those matches. “We have had to play with a few different lineups due to injuries to Casey Knight (5th year, outside hitter, Salt Spring Island) and Matt Krueger (5th year, libero, Abbotsford).”
The WolfPack will have to do that again this weekend. CIS Player of the Year Brad Gunter (4th year, outside hitter, Courtenay) suffered a dislocated finger last Saturday (Oct. 11) and will be out of action this weekend.
Gunter is second in the Canada West in kills per set (4.71) and third in kills overall (33).
“In a way it will be good to see other players step up and take some more swings for our offence,” Hennelly states. “We had a solid performance from Randy Grundmann (2nd year, outside hitter, Winnipeg) last weekend.” Grundman has moved into fifth place in the Canada West in hitting percentage (.316).
The two teams have met twice before this season. Both were five-set matches at a tournament at Mount Royal University last month. Calgary won both times.
“In the final of the tourney we played with a similar lineup –without Casey or Brad. We will have to do that again this weekend.”
Hennelly has a lot of respect for the Dinos. “Calgary is well-coached and plays very good defensively. I expect it to be a tough weekend on the road.”
The WolfPack worked on blocking and defensive play heading into the weekend. “We are still searching for a lineup which provides consistency,” Hennelly said.
Thompson Rivers home opener is Friday, Oct. 24 at the Tournament Capital Centre when they entertain the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds.
SIDE OUTS WolfPack setter Graham Stoliker (4th year, Surrey) stands fourth in the Canada West this week in assists (9.29 per set) …
– TRU WolfPack