Ian Perry

Vancouver, BC – The UBC Thunderbirds men’s volleyball team (3-1) will visit Kamloops this weekend to take on the Thompson Rivers University Wolfpack (0-4). The men will play Friday night at 7:45 pm and Saturday at 6:45 pm in Kamloops.

Last weekend, UBC split the weekend series with Mount Royal University. Although the men lost their Friday match in five sets (25-21, 21-25, 14-25, 25-23, 16-14), Saturday night, the Thunderbirds were eager to prove themselves after a tough loss. The men rallied and were much more aggressive on the ball winning the game 3-0 (32-30, 25-10, 25-18).

With this result, UBC is now in a three-way tie with the University of Manitoba and the University of Calgary for second in the conference with six points, sitting just two points behind first.

This isn’t the first time that UBC and TRU have faced each other this season. In exhibition play, UBC won in straight sets over the Wolfpack. Despite both first and second sets were decidedly in favour of the ‘Birds, (25-14 and 25-15) TRU did have some fight in them to make a comeback and raise their level of play in the third.  However, the T-Birds would prevail winning 25-23.

Going into this weekend, UBC outside hitter Ben Chow leads the team with 50 kills and an impressive .356 hitting percentage. He also has been stellar on defence, sitting in second place in the conference in digs with 40 on the season. Setter Milan Nikic is sitting third overall within the conference averaging 9.87 assists per set.

As for TRU, UBC will need to be ready to cover Randy Grundmann on the net, who currently leads the team in kills at 48 on the season. Of course they also boast the reigning CIS Player of the Year, in right side hitter Brad Gunter.

Over the previous four seasons the Thunderbirds are 5-3 versus Thompson Rivers in regular season action.

Friday’s game will commence at 7:45 pm while Saturday’s action begins at 6:45 pm at Thompson Rivers’ Tournament Capital Centre in Kamloops. Games can be viewed via live webcast at canadawest.tv.