by Larry Read
November 23, 2013, Kamloops, BC (ISN) —They say revenge is a dish best serve cold. For the Thompson Rivers University WolfPack men’s volleyball team, they enacted that revenge on a frosty Saturday night in Kamloops.
The WolfPack swept the University of Saskatchewan Huskies 3-0 at the Tournament Capital Centre in Canada West men’s league play. The scores were 25-22, 25-18,25-21.
It was a battle of two teams ranked in the CIS top 10 rankings and for the WolfPack, Saturday’s victory meant a sweep of both weekend matches for TRU against a Saskatchewan squad which beat them last year in straight sets.
” This is a step in the right direction for us making the playoffs,”said WolfPack head coach Pat Hennelly. ” I tell the guys that every win right now is like a gold nugget in your pocket over the holidays. It is a tight race. We say it every year in Canada West that it is tight. Maybe two teams in the league are looking away from the playoff picture but everyone else is in the thick of things. We are one of those teams stuck in the middle. These two wins take some of the pressure off. Saskatchewan is a very good team and they beat us twice last year. It feels good as well.”
The WolfPack were led by Brad Gunter again. The third year outside hitter from Courtney, BC showed why he was a starter on Canada’s Junior National Team this summer. He had 20 kills in 35 chances and had a total of 44 over 79 opportunities on the weekend. He added eight digs, a solo block and three block assists.
Casey Knight (4th year, outside hitter, Salt Spring Island, BC) was stellar as well. He had 11 kills in 25 swings with three service aces, three digs and one block assist. On the weekend, he had 26 kills in 61 chances with nine digs, five service aces, a solo block and two block assists.
“They are a good one-two punch,” Hennelly stated. “They were like that in Edmonton. We have been waiting for them to emerge. We know what we have with Brad. He has been excellent this entire season. He needed some support. When Casey steps up it is not a ‘one man show’. He was awesome serving tonight. We have a radar gun in practice and we have been working on his velocity. He showed what you can do when you are 6’8″ and you can knuckleball it. It is a tough ball.”
Colin Carson (5th year, setter, Prince George, BC) had 33 assists and eight digs. Matt Krueger (4th year, libero, Abbotsford, BC) chipped in with eight digs.
Saskatchewan was led by Paul Thomson (4th year, left side, Assiniboia, SK) with eight kills in 22 chances. Tyler Epp (2nd year, middle, Saskatoon, SK) and Evan Ericson (4th year, left side, Kelvington, SK) each had seven kills. Zak Rempel (3rd year, setter, Saskatoon, SK) contributed 22 assists.
The WolfPack will visit the Mount Royal Cougars on the final weekend before the Christmas Break (Nov 29-30). Saskatchewan will visit Brandon.