Thunderbirds lose first ever match to Thompson Rivers

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Alissa Coulter

Kamloops, BC – The Thompson Rivers University Wolfpack defeated the UBC Thunderbirds for the first time in women’s volleyball history on Friday night 3-2 in Kamloops.

Prior to Friday’s match, Thompson Rivers had never defeated UBC in regular season play, tracing back to their inception into the league for the 2005-2006 season. The five-set match handed the Thunderbirds their third loss of the season, and equaled the two team’s records at 2-3. Set scores were 25-17, 25-12, 22-25, 16-25, and 15-11.

Alissa Coulter led the Thunderbirds with 14 points in the match.

“I feel we did not have our best showing,” she said. “We came out flat in the first two sets, had a great third and fourth sets, but just couldn’t maintain. I think it really comes down to our execution more than anything.”

Fifth year right-side Rosie Schlagintweit notes an overall lack of aggression on part of the Thunderbirds.

“I think our serve game wasn’t as good as it can be,” said Schlagintweit. “At times we were hesitant on offence and on out of system balls.”

Schlagintweit tallied 12 kills and 11 digs on the evening.

Wolfpack left-side Iuliia Pakhomenko was dominant throughout the game, posting 21 kills on 40 attempts. Pakhomenko, a MBA student and former member of the Ukraine Junior National Team, is in her first season with Thompson Rivers after spending two years of eligibility at Northwood University (NCAA).

Pakhomenko and the Wolfpack were aggressive and confident throughout the match.

“They really served us hard – we had trouble on serve receive at times,” said Schlagintweit. “[Pakhomenko] beat us up on the outside and service line.”

Thompson Rivers have now posted two wins through five games against quality opponents this season – two more wins than the team had through the entire season last year.

The teams will match up again tomorrow night, as the weekend series continues in Kamloops. The Thunderbirds will look to rebound tomorrow night, as the weekend series continues at Thompson Rivers’ Tournament Capital Centre.

“The main thing is stronger attacking,” said Coulter. “We really want to bring an assertive offense tomorrow.

Tomorrow’s match will commence at 5:00 pm, and can be streamed live via canadawest.tv.

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