November 14, 2013, Kamloops, BC (ISN) – The Thompson Rivers University WolfPack and the University of Alberta Golden Bears have had some intense matches in their time. The Bears program is something that TRU head coach Pat Hennelly has looked at as the standard of excellence in the Canada West since the Pack joined the league nine years ago.
Two more chapters to the rivalry will be added this weekend when the WolfPack travel to Edmonton, Alberta for matches against the Bears on Friday and Saturday (Nov 15-16).
Alberta has four wins in their first six outings. TRU stands at .500 at 3 and 3.
Hennelly says his club is at a disadvantage from the get go. “It is going to be a tough weekend we have a short turnaround time with arriving late Sunday and leaving Thursday afternoon.” The WolfPack lost a pair of matches to the Thunderbirds at UBC. ” We did not play to expectations on Saturday but we were better on Sunday.”
Heading into the season, the Golden Bears were chosen by many—including Hennelly to be the best team in Canada West. He says their record is a bit deceiving. “I think Alberta was looking like the top team in the CW but losing twice to Trinity Western certainly changes that a bit. They have already beaten two tough teams in Saskatchewan and Brandon and they will be looking to rebound from the past weekend. I believe they are still a top team not only in Canada West but in the country. It will be tough as always to play in Edmonton.”
The WolfPack have a few injuries and are looking for some of their bench to step up. As a team, Thompson Rivers leads the Canada West in digs (10.88 per game).
Brad Gunter (3rd year, outside hitter,Courtenay, BC) is second in the Canada West in points (5.67 per game) and kills (5.12 per game).
Colin Carson (5th year, setter, Prince George, BC) is third in assists (10.58 per game).
Casey Knight (4th year, outside hitter, Salt Spring Island, BC) stands fifth in the league in service aces (0.33 per game). Hennelly says Knight has come a long way since he joined TRU. “Casey has been coming into his own this year. He has been very good at practice for the past month and it is starting to show on the court. He has improved his fitness and has been very dedicated doing extra sessions in the weight room.”
Matt Krueger (4th year, outside hitter, Abbotsford, BC) is fourth in the Canada West in digs (2.46 per game) while Jacob Tricarico (5th year, middle, Huntington Beach, CA) is fifth in the league in blocks (1.20 per game).
Hennelly looks at the rest of the first half of the Canada West season like this: “We have three tough weekends left in the first half with a 4 matches on the road(this term features 7 road matches versus 5 home games) we have set our goals to be over .500 in the first term so we will have to perform and be consistent over the next three weekends.”
The WolfPack return home after the weekend to entertain the University of Saskatchewan Huskies on November 22nd and 23 rd at the Tournament Capital Centre.