Spartans rally over Wolfpack

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October 4, 2013, KAMLOOPS, British Columbia – The Trinity Western University men’s volleyball team rallied after dropping the first set to defeat the Thompson Rivers University WolfPack 3-1 Thursday evening at the Tournament Capital Centre in Kamloops, BC.

The Spartans improve to 4-1 in preseason play with the 21-25, 25-23, 25-19, 26-24 victory, while the WolfPack drops to 2-1-1.

“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.”

“Early in the season we have no idea what Pat is doing with these guys this year,” said Spartans head coach Ben Josephson. “Trying to figure out a new opponent takes some time and they were pretty sharp out of the gate. They were running so fast and their defense was so sharp. I was pleased with our guys on how they slowly came up with some tactics to slow them down. Pat was adjusting to what we were doing so it was a really neat give and take game.”

The Spartans were led by Nicholas Del Bianco (4th year, outside hitter, Langley, BC) who was 17 for 36. Brad Kufske (4th year, outside hitter, Abbotsford, BC) contributed 14 kills in 27 swings while Ryan Sclater (2nd year, outside hitter, Port Coquitlam, BC) had 12 kills in 28 chances. Scott Plockis (2nd year, setter, Kelowna, BC) had 40 assists. Tyler Koslowsky (3rd year, libero, Abbotsford, BC) had 14 digs.

“Our three outsides having been doing real well so far,” Josephson said. “Lucas Van Berkel (5th year middle, De Winton, AB) as well. We run a pretty balanced offense. The way Thompson Rivers played us tonight had our middles committing on every pass. We were going one on one on the antennas and made it hard to score. It was our outside players job to score today and they did.”

“I think both teams were capitalizing on weaknesses in the other group at times and that is why we saw so many tight sets,” he added.

TRU was led by Brad Gunter (3rd year, outside hitter, Courtenay, BC). He had 22 kills in 47 chances and 15 digs. Philip Ozari (2nd year, outside hitter, Birkerod, Denmark) contributed nine kills in 27 opportunities.

Colin Carson (5th year, setter, Prince George, BC) had 44 assists.

The teams square off again Friday night (Oct 4) at 6 pm at the TCC

SIDE OUTS: Hennelly on playing Matt Krueger (4th year, Abbotsford, BC) on the left side with Blake Majcher (4th year, Brandon, MB) in at libero. “We did that against UBCO already. When I recruited Matt I told him he would get some swings in his senior years. That has materialized. It had a little to do with injuries and other guys in class tonight. Blake did a great job in practice and deserved the start.” Kruger was three for 12. Majcher had nine digs.

Hennelly was impressed with Jordan Foot (1st year, middle, Prince George, BC) who had five kills in 14 chances four digs, one solo block and two block assists. I thought he did great. He doesn’t look like a first year guy out there. He has lots of energy. Comes up with some plays and does some unconventional things out there and that’s what you want from a guy. He showed his worth today.”

Josephson on the long sets: “You can’t replicate this kind of pressure in your own gym. You are playing against people you don’t necessarily know and sometimes not like. We like these guys—they are great dudes. Sometimes you are playing an opponent you don’t like and in a foreign place. The emotion is high. Trying to get these experiences at this time of year is amazing.”