October 4, 2013, Kamloops, BC – The Trinity Western University Spartans outlasted the Thompson Rivers University WolfPack in a marathon day of exhibition men’s volleyball.
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).
“We can’t say we were too tired tonight,’ said WolfPack head coach Pat Hennelly. “Most of our guys weren’t here for that scrimmage. I thought Trinity was sharper tonight. And their first year setter (Adam Schreimer, Winnipeg, MB) did a great job. I recruited his brother. They are a great volleyball family. He did a good job. He is someone to watch in the next couple of years. Their offense was quicker and their guys were hitting a bit harder than us tonight.”
“It is strange,” said Spartans head coach Ben Josephson. ” We are trying to put ourselves in different scenerios and try put us in uncomfortable situations. I thought we did that today with a five setter this morning. Our setter (Schriemer) had to play both—with a completely different group this morning. He responded very well.” Schriemer finished with 34 assists, four digs and two block assists
“As a young guy, he is trying to learn our system at the same time as adapt to the level,” Josephson added. ” He has had some up and down days. He struggled a bit this morning but seeing him improve from 10 am to 6 pm is a testament to how hard he worked on his weaknesses.”
“We were playing catch up for a large percentage of the night,” Hennelly added. ” I think it is tough to be behind against a team which runs good systems and doesn’t give you a lot of points. I said to my guys that we were working so hard for our points and giving up too many easy ones.”
The Spartans were led by Nicholas Del Bianco (4th year, outside hitter, Langley, BC) for the second straight night. He had 17 kills in 36 chances. Brad Kufske (4th year, outside hitter, Abbotsford, BC) had six kills and a team high eight digs. Lucas Van Berkel (5th year, middle, Edmonton, AB) had eight kills in nine swings.
TRU was led by Brad Gunter (3rd year, outside hitter, Courtenay, BC) 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.
Colin Carson (5th year, setter, Prince George, BC) had 24 assists.
Hennelly says they have to re-focus. ” We will continue to develop things in practice and find a starting lineup. That is what we have to keep searching for. We have to tighten things up obviously. Last weekend, we played 14 different guys. This weekend, we played 10 guys. I am looking forward to next week’s tournament (Oct 10-12 with Guelph, UBC and UBCO). That will be great prep for league and playoff play with three tough nights in a row.”
Trinity Western will head to Kelowna for weekend matches with UBCO. Josephson is dismissing claims that his crew will be one of the teams to beat in Canada West this season. “Alberta is tougher than us and Brandon looks good,” he says. ” We have six or seven matches to prep. I feel we are on the right track. We got exposed by Thompson Rivers on a number of things. We need to work on our block stability and our transitions. In the second set tonight, we had 12 positive serves and that should be enough to win—but we were only up by one point.
The WolfPack open the Canada West regular season on October 25 th in Kelowna against UBCO. Their home opener is a night later versus the same UBCO Heat. Game time is 7 pm.
SIDE OUTS: Hennelly on playing Blake Majcher (4th year, Brandon, MB) at libero for the first two sets before replacing him with Matt Krueger (4th year, Abbotsford, BC). “I think there are a lot of positions that are being contested right now. I think that Blake did a great job but the serving was getting to him a little bit. I thought that it was time for a break. Same thing with Brad (Gunter). I thought at times he looked a little tired from last night and a long summer. I wanted to get some mileage out of Casey Knight. One of the strengths of our team in the past has been depth. I think it’s a double edged sword though. We need to find guys who are ready to play night in and night out.”