by Larry Read
January 11, 2014, Kamloops, BC (ISN) – The Thompson Rivers University WolfPack have fallen victim to the Brandon University Bobcats for the second night in a row in Canada West women’s volleyball action.
The Bobcats took down the ‘Pack in three straight sets: 25-16,25-18,25-12 at the Tournament Capital Centre on Saturday(Jan 11). Brandon is off to the best start in school history as their record moves to 11 and 3 while the WolfPack are winless in 14 starts.
“This speaks to the dedication of these athletes,” said Bobcats coach Lee Carter, now into his ninth season at the helm. “They work really hard every day. And they want to get better. It is been a fun time working with them.”
Brandon was led by Shanlee McLennan (3rd year, left side, Winnipeg, MB) who had 10 kills in25 chances with thre service aces, and four digs. The Bobcats had 10 service aces in the contest.
Meaghan Robertson (4th year, middle, Brandon, MB) had six kills in 10 chances with three services aces, two digs and two block assists. Mary Tomson (2nd year, setter, Brandon, MB) had 27 assists.
Carter said the difference this weekend between the two teams was his club’s patience. ” We passed the ball really well and were able to score off the serve and volley. The WolfPack challenged us a bit defensively but once we settled down in the third set we were able to gain control. The first two sets saw them scoring pretty well.”
WolfPack head coach Keith Lundgren thought his team was in the first two sets. ” We failed to make adjustments. One of the biggest ones we wanted to make tonight was that Bri (Brianne Rauch, 2nd year, outside hitter, Kimberley, BC) was a big hitter last night and we wanted to get her the ball more. We actually got it to her less, which was a little disappointing.”
Rauch wound up with five kills in 12 chances with a service ace,and 11 digs.
Kristen Giesbrecht (2nd year, middle, Gretna, MB) had a team high eight kills in 36 chances with one service ace, one dig two solo blocks and one block assist.
Lundgren did see some positives. “I thought Tori (Taneda, 1st year, setter, Kelowna, BC) did a good job. She got 11 assists in the first set and nine in the second and third. She did a pretty good job. She was under some pressure. She wasn’t expecting to play too much this semester. Kudos to her for setting the ball pretty quick.” Taneda had 25 assists.
Lundgren felt that his team made too many hitting errors. ” We did a lot better last night. It was unfortunate.”
The Bobcats turnaround is something TRU could look at as a model as they re-tool their program. “Each program has their own philosophy,” Lundgren explains. “We are just trying to get the players on board with things we think will help us win. It comes down to keeping the errors low. Brandon came in and reduced their hitting errors by half tonight (9 in this contest). We need to do the same and it takes a lot of effort in practice. We are pretty young. Friday night was encouraging. Next week we will look at keeping the errors down. “
The WolfPack travel to Winnipeg next weekend (January 17-18) while the Bobcats visit UBC. Next home action for Thompson Rivers will be January 24 th when they entertain the Trinity Western University Spartans. Game time at the TCC will be 6 pm.