TRU Wolfpack Athletics previews

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October 3, 2013, KAMLOOPS, BC – TRU Wolfpack Athletics is pleased to announce the previews for their upcoming games.

TRU embarks on Wild Weekend of CCBC Action. 

After getting rained out last weekend in Langley, the Thompson Rivers University Baseball team has a boatload of games in the Fall Invitational Tournament in Kelowna B.C. The WolfPack will get their first action against rival teams in the Canadian Collegiate Baseball Conference at Elk Stadium. The Okanagan College Coyotes, the Vancouver Island Baseball Institute Mariners and the University of Calgary Dinos will provide the first non-high school competition of the fall. The ‘Pack will also entertain the Okanagan Athletics this weekend.

Six games are slated for the weekend, the first kicks off Friday morning (Oct 4) at 11 a.m. against Okanagan College. TRU will do as they did in Okotoks and go with two split squads.

“The two teams will be divided up evenly, a mix of older and younger guys,” WolfPack head coach Ray Chadwick said. “Gives all of our guys more playing time this way.”

TRU takes on OC and then the Okanagan Athletics afterwards at 2 p.m. on Friday October 4th. Saturday has the WolfPack taking on the University of Calgary Dinos at 2p.m. followed immediately by a matchup against the Vancouver Island Baseball Institute Mariners at 4:30p.m. Sunday wraps up with TRU taking on the U of C at 12:00p.m. and the final game coming against OC at 2:30p.m.

This marks the first time any CCBC team will face each other. VIBI is 2-0 this fall with two victories over a senior men’s team, the Nanaimo Coal Miners. OC is 6-0 this fall with a few easy wins over the Edmonton Prospects, the White Rock Tritons and the SOMBA Tigers. The Dinos are yet to play any fall exhibition games.

The fall season is slowly ticking away as the weather begins to change. These games cannot be taken for granted because nobody knows how long Mother Nature will permit these games to go on. 

WolfPack Women’s Basketball Head East For First Test Of Season.

The Thompson Rivers University WolfPack women’s basketball team will get their first ‘game action’ of the 2013-14 campaign as they head to Ontario for a three game series. The WolfPack will visit Wilfred Laurier, Western Ontario and Brock Universities to play their OUA teams beginning Friday night against Laurier. They then move to Western Ontario Saturday night (Oct 5) before a noon hour Sunday (Oct 6) encounter with Brock.

“The team is coming together and building our culture of what TRU women’s basketball is,” says WolfPack head coach Scott Reeves about his teams workouts, which have been going since the first week of September.

The WolfPack have a solid core of returning veterans led by fourth year guard Jorri Duxbury (Salmon Arm, BC) and third year forward Taiysa Worsfold (Kamloops, BC).

Reeves does have a number of recruits who will make their University debut on this trip including guard Syd Williams (Langley, BC) and forward Ryan Kennedy (Airdrie, AB) . “I am excited to see what this young group can do. We have some terrific freshmen that we think can come into situations and really help us.”

He adds: “We want to use this trip as an opportunity to evaluate where we are at as a group and see what work still needs to be done for the beginning of league play.”

The WolfPack will return home to host their own tournament Thanksgiving weekend (Oct 11-13) involving the Trinity Western University Spartans, the University of British Columbia Okanagan Heat and the University of Northern British Columbia Timberwolves.

Thompson Rivers kicks off its 2013-14 Canada West season on Friday November 1st at the Tournament Capital Centre when they entertain the University of Saskatchewan Huskies.

WolfPack Get Set for BCIHL Home Opener. 

The Thompson Rivers University Hockey team has yet to play a game at Memorial Arena this season. That will all change when they host Trinity Western this Friday October 4th at 8:30p.m in the BC Intercollegiate Hockey League. The WolfPack could not have asked for a better start to their fall season. They made history by being the first non-Alberta team to win the Fall Ice Breaker Tournament in Calgary two weeks ago and picked up two huge road victories in Victoria last weekend.

TRU currently sits atop the BCIHL standings with a 2-0 record. Four of the six teams have yet to kick off their season yet. TRU lost to Trinity Western 5-4 in an early exhibition game this fall.

“You can’t really take too much from that game last month,” coach Don Schulz said. “Yeah they are a league opponent, but we didn’t have our ‘A’ lineup in and I don’t think they did either.”

The ‘Pack held the upper hand in last year’s meetings. TRU won the season series 3-1. Coach Schulz believes that this will be a different TWU team than the one they faced last year. The Spartans had a turnover behind the bench bringing in Barret Kropf. Rosters are always changing from year to year as well.

The schedule does not get any easier for the WolfPack. After their game with Trinity, they have four straight against tough league opponents in Simon Fraser University and Selkirk College.

WolfPack Golf Set To Close PACWEST Regular Season At Fraser Valley.

The 2013 PACWEST Golf season is set to wrap up this weekend for the Thompson Rivers University WolfPack. The WolfPack and the rest of the league had their third tournament washed away by torrential rains last weekend (Sept 28-29) in Victoria. The final tournament of the season is set for Saturday and Sunday (Oct 5-6) at the Chilliwack Golf and Country club.

Head coach Bill Bilton Junior says two of his players—Brett Pound (2nd year, Kamloops, BC) and Natasha MacKenzie (2nd year, Kamloops, BC) have an outside shot of making it to the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association Nationals in Ontario. ” Brett is eight back of third place so he will have to go deep in Chilliwack. The team is too far back with only one event to go.”

The WolfPack men’s team sits in sixth place in the PACWEST standings with the women’s squad sitting in fourth. Bilton says the team has been working hard on the basics as it prepares for their final event. “A bit of everything: chipping, putting, swing. Most of all I want everyone to enjoy the moment. It is amazing what relaxed muscles can do to your scores.”

As far as the course? ” Play with intensity,” he says. ” Every round must be treated the same: high intensity, stay in the present and go for your personal best. The course is tree lined and usually wet at this time of year. It is a fun course to play with lots of birdies out there.”

When he looks at his team, one player comes to mind as standing out in his mind. ” It has to be Blake Gozda (2nd year, Winnipeg, MB). He stands out for all the extra things that make him our best “team player’. He practices hard, always positive, leading fundraiser on the team, great with his teammates and this all carries with him off the course as well. He is a top notch human being.”

The WolfPack have their team fundraising dinner and silent auction on October 9 th at the Dunes. Tickets are still available by calling The Dunes at (250) 579-3300.

WolfPack Men’s Volleyball Poised for Exhibition Series vs Trinity Western.

Fans of the Thompson Rivers University WolfPack men’s volleyball team will get two chances to see their club in action this week. The WolfPack have a pair of Canada West exhibition matches set for Thursday and Friday (Oct 3-4) at the Tournament Capital Centre.

Their opponents are traditional CIS power house—the Trinity Western University Spartans. Game times are 7 pm on Thursday and 6 pm on Friday. The WolfPack are coming off two wins and a tie against the University of British Columbia Okanagan Heat last week (Sept 26-28).

Thompson Rivers coach Pat Hennelly said he found out a lot about his team in those matches. “I liked our defensive intensity, the fact we played 14 different guys on the first two nights and only lost one set. Our consistency was good overall. In Quesnel, we dropped the first two sets with Tyler Pomietlarz (setter, Kelowna, BC) who is going to red shirt for us this year— but recovered in the third and fourth sets. It was a good sign for Tyler and the team. That is something we haven’t done the last two years was recover after we didn’t start well.”

Hennelly believes the fitness level of the 18 players on his roster is ahead of 2012-13. “Our fitness level is good. I think we established a level that we want to keep. The work we did last spring is paying off. We worked on how we want to run our offense. We implemented some faster sets in the springtime to remain focused in the off season. All that hard work that we did last spring shows here early in the season.”

The WolfPack are expecting stiffer competition this week: “We didn’t get pushed very hard by UBCO,” he explains “They made quite a few errors, we know we won’t see that as much this weekend. Trinity Western plays a very disciplined style of volleyball.”

Hennelly is expecting to see a very strong Spartans club: “They are very good. They will be at the top end of our conference again this year. They have a few graduating players but have had two very strong recruiting classed the past couple of years. They will be solid and a very good test for us.”

The WolfPack will host a UBCO, UBC and Guelph the following week (Oct 10-12) in a tournament at the TCC. Their Canada West opener is set for October 25th in Kelowna against UBCO. Their home opener is a night later against that same Heat squad.

WolfPack Women’s Volleyball Closes Out Pre-Season At Best Of The West.

The pre-season comes to a close for the Thompson Rivers University WolfPack women’s volleyball team this weekend. The WolfPack are on the road in Langley taking part in the “Best of the West” exhibition series. The WolfPack will play a number of other CIS squads in exhibition matches—including Trinity Western, UBC, York, Alberta and Regina.

“This is our fourth exhibition weekend and we are looking forward to it,” said TRU head coach Keith Lundgren.

“We have been stressing defense since the opening week of training camp,” he says. ” It is getting better with time. We are serving and passing a lot but defense has been out main focus. It is a new group with who is on the court with Morgan (Kolasa, 1st year, middle, Calgary, AB) and Bri (Brianne Rauch, 2nd year, outside hitter, Kimberly, BC) back out there. We have been practicing hard and getting better every day.”

Despite that, Lundgren says they will be concentrating more on offense this weekend.

“We are talking a bit now about getting the ball down and those types of things,” he states. ” trying to get them to see the block and the floor a little better and faster. That is what we are looking at this weekend-our ability to generate kills.”

Lundgren says every day has been fun to go to practice for both himself and the players. He says the return of Rauch and Kolasa will mean a lot to his team’s fortunes come the start of the Canada West season.

“Both are really motivated,” he said. “Bri is really working hard on hitting and passing. She passed 50 to 60 percent some times higher last exhibition weekend in Regina. Morgan is doing great. She is so versatile at the net and can hit anywhere. She is very passionate and brings the celebration and energy that we need. It is fantastic to have them back. They are so coachable and they are the driving forces behind the upbeat practices and belief about the team this year.”

The ‘Best of the West” event begins Friday night (Oct 4) and winds up Sunday (Oct 6). The WolfPack kick off their 2013-14 Canada West regular season on Friday October 25 th at home to the UBCO Heat. Game time is 7 pm at the Tournament Capital Centre.

WolfPack Women’s Soccer Set To Face Closest Geographical Rival.

If there were any matches that the Thompson Rivers University WolfPack women’s soccer team wouldn’t have to get ‘mentally up for’, it would be the ones this weekend (Oct 5-6). The WolfPack are set to meet up with their arch rivals: the University of British Columbia Okanagan Heat in a home and home PACWEST season.

These teams have met each other in the league championship final the past two seasons with TRU winning both times. This week, the WolfPack (7-0-1) are second in the nation in the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association top 15 rankings again with UBCO (5-2-1) sitting in third spot in the league and 15 th in the national rankings.

WolfPack coach Tom McManus says after being on the road the past few weeks, it will be good to be home and to start this weekend at Hillside Stadium. ” It will be nice to be home after such a long time and I am hoping the fans can give us a major boost. We have done well on the road (5 wins and a tie) but playing at home is always special.”

The time spent on the road should help his squad come playoff time. ” The players have all come together very well and are always there for each other as any family is.”

McManus feels that as far as preparing for UBCO, it will be status quo. ” We like to take the lead and let the other teams adjust to us. You never know what teams are going to come in and play against us but if they don’t mark up I think we will do well. They can mark Alanna (Bekkering, 5th year, midfield, Kamloops, B) but as you can see from last weekend, we have a number of players who can score goals. Alanna is the type of player who is happy to draw in players and leave some of her teammates open. She is a true team player.”

Bekkering is running away with the PACWEST scoring race. She has eight goals in eight matches. Jaydene Radu (3rd year, forward, Calgary, AB) is tied for fourth in league scoring with three UBCO players—Kirsten Dodds (Vernon, BC), Haylee Lakovic (West Kelowna, BC) and Michelle Smith (Vernon,BC).

Courtenay Daly (2nd year, forward, Kamloops, BC) is 10 th in league scoring with two goals in seven matches. Bronwyn Crawford (4th year, midfield, Kamloops, BC) and Kelsey Martin (2nd year, midfielder, Kamloops, BC) are tied for 15 th with a pair of goals in eight matches.

One player who has impressed McManus of late has been first year defender Megan Baird (Cloverdale, BC). ” Megan has had huge shoes to fill replacing Blair MacKay (Kamloops, BC—who graduated in 2012). She has done a great job so far and in a year or two she will be able t inspire the team the way that Blair could. It is so hard to replace a player of Blair’s quality but I am sure that Megan will do it, she has been excellent this year so far.”

Both of UBCO’s keepers are among the leaders in individual stats. Laura Graham (Sidney, BC) is second with a goals against average of 0.50 with one shutout in two games. Christine Tallon (Kamloops, BC) is fourth with an 0.83 average with a league high four shutouts in six matches. Emily Edmundson (4th year, Kamloops, BC) stands fifth with a goals against average of 1.00 and two shutouts in eight games played.

When he looks at the current PACWEST standings, with TRU (22 points) leading by four points over Quest (18) and six over UBCO (16) with Langara fourth a point back (15), he says. “I believe it will be similar to last year for provincials. It would be great to end up first again this year and so far the players have been great. They have been working hard. We now have the familiarity that is needed so I am happy. Both Quest and UBCO are excellent teams but don’t underestimate Langara, they are the only team to have taken points away from us and they are also a quality team.”

As for the home and home situation this weekend? ” It is always good to play at home first and hopefully take the advantage. Our supporters are great and we feel their presence when they are on the field. Going down to Kelowna the next day will be tough but we have done well on the road so I hope that will continue.

Kick off Saturday is noon at Hillside Stadium. Two U-9 teams from the Kamloops Youth Soccer Association—The “Silver Stars” and the “Strikers” will be playing at half time and be a part of the pre game ceremonies. It is the “Gyldi’s Pizza/TRU WolfPack/KYSA Soccer experience.”

 

WolfPack Men’s Soccer Home Finally To Face UBCO.

It’s home sweet home—sort of—for the Thompson Rivers University WolfPack men’s soccer team.   The WolfPack have spent the last three weeks on the road in the PACWEST season and are finally back at Hillside Stadium for the start of a home and home series with their closest geographical rival—the University of British Columbia Okanagan Heat. The two teams play in Kamloops on Saturday (Oct 5) before heading to Kelowna on Sunday (Oct 6).

Co-head coach Sean Wallace says being on the road the last few weeks and experiencing everything from unplayable fields to high wind storms, has brought his team closer together. “We came away with three wins, a loss and a tie. The guys know they can overcome adversity and get results. We are going in the right direction at this point of the season.”

The WolfPack regained their number two ranking in the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association top 15 rankings this past week.   Wallace says the adversity that they have faced in recent weeks has given them confidence.  “I think we learned that the players are a close knit group that can rise to the challenge. I think they learned that they are a team that will fight for each other through any kind of battle.’

The WolfPack lead the PACWEST with five wins, a loss and a tie.  UBCO is sitting in third spot with four wins, two losses and two ties.  “Both teams have been playing well recently and it should make for some entertaining soccer for fans to enjoy,’ says Wallace. “ We need to get results so we can keep our position in the standings going forward towards the playoffs.  It is not going to be easy but we will have the guys ready for the challenge.”

Wallace relishes the home and home series. “It’s great for us to start at home after the amount of travelling we have done so far. I think it will give the guys the boost  they need to play well here on Saturday.”

Wallace says the team’s success has been a direct result of team effort. “Different guys have been stepping up at opportune times and have made the difference during our road swing.”

Oriol Torres (3rd year, forward, Barcelona, Spain) has moved back atop of the PACWEST scoring race with five goals in six matches.  Teammate Justin Wallace (4th year, midfielder, Kamloops, BC) is in a tie for second spot also with five goals (in seven matches).

UBCO is led by Austin Jones (Vernon, BC) with four goals in eight matches.  Lucas Krivak (Port Moody, BC) sits in eighth spot with three goals in eight matches.  Enzo Paal (Nanaimo, BC) of UBCO is 13 th with three goals as well.

The Heat’s Logan Ellis (Calgary, AB) has the top goals against average in the PACWEST with 1.17 and a league high three shutouts.  Travis Froehlich (3rd year, Revelstoke, BC) is third with two shutouts and a goals against average of 1.43. He has played in all seven of the TRU matches.

Two U-6 boys teams from Kamloops Youth Soccer: “The Red Fireballs” and “The Blue Jays” will be the special guests on Saturday. They are part of the “Gyldi’s Pizza/TRU WolfPack/KYSA Soccer experience” where they will be part of the opening ceremonies and play at half time.

Also at half time, there will be a demonstration of dog agility from Five Star Dog Training. Kick off is 2 pm.

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