October 10, 2013, Kamloops, BC (ISN) — There is a saying that the pre-season is where you find out what your team is made of. Thompson Rivers University WolfPack head coach Pat Hennelly and University of Guelph Gryphons bench boss Cal Wigston found out on Thursday (Oct 10) what type of character their teams have.
The two squads opened up a CIS exhibition tourney at the Tournament Capital Centre with a five set battle. The Gryphons capitalized on a line call with the score tied at 16 in the fifth set and went onto a 25-20,25-23,14-25,17-25,19-17 victory.
“We got lucky there,” said Wigston. “We had a call go our way that should have gone to TRU and that changed the momentum a little bit. My guys did a great job. We are down three starters—6’8″,6’9″ and our best ball control player at 6’4″. I am real happy the way my guys competed.”
“I have to give Guelph credit,” Hennelly stated. ” They played great defense. They played the ball well. We started off poorly. We are in the fifth set and we forget to make a sub. International rules—the players have the paddles (to indicate subs). They call the subs—coaches aren’t allowed to. We missed a sub and had to leave a back row specialist (4th year, Blake Majcher) in. I don’t know what happened on the line call at 16 all.”
At 16-16, WolfPack outside hitter Phil Ozari (2nd year, Birkerod, Denmark) hit it down the left side line. It was ruled it was out.
Guelph was led by Timothy Warnholtz (2nd year, right side, Guelph, ON) who had 21 kills in 43 chances. Kyle Richards (2nd year, setter, London, ON) had 32 assists and 13 digs. Eric Wagner (3rd year, libero, Kitchener, ON) had 10 digs.
For TRU, they were led by Brad Gunter (3rd year, outside, Courtenay, BC). The Junior national team member sat out the first set but came on and had 13 kills in 30 swings with six digs. Colin Carson (5th year, setter, Prince George, BC) had 41 assists.
Graham Stoliker (3rd year, setter, Surrey, BC) had 11 assists for the WolfPack.
Jacob Tricarico (5th year, middle, Huntington Beach, CA) had 11 kills in 18 opportunities.
One player who stood out for TRU was first year middle Jordan Foot of Prince George, BC. Said Hennelly: ” He was excellent tonight. He made some big kills and blocks and was consistent serving. He certainly isn’t playing like a rookie.”
The WolfPack and Gryphons will have a controlled scrimmage Friday (Oct 11) at noon. The other two teams in the tournament: the UBCO Heat and the UBC Thunderbirds will meet at 11 am. Guelph faces UBCO at 5 pm with TRU facing UBC in the feature match of Friday at 7 pm.
The tournament wraps up on Saturday (Oct 12).
SIDE OUTS: Wigston on why he brought his team west: “Our big thing is to play the best competition in the country. We believe Thompson Rivers is a phenomenal team. UBC , obviously will be a top two team in the country and UBCO has a fine program as well. We want to play the best teams in the country so we can learn. We don’t want to show the rest of the OUA what we have.”