(ISN) – Edmonton, AB—The Thompson Rivers University WolfPack women’s volleyball team experienced more déjà vu on Sunday (Jan 11). Playing the MacEwan University Griffins in Canada West play, the WolfPack dropped a five set decision.
It was the eighth match this season that the WolfPack have gone the full five sets—and their third loss. The scores were ( 11-25, 25-23,25-19,22-25,15-12).
The Wolfpack fall to 7-11 in league play while MacEwan is 7-9.
The ‘Pack started out quickly as Morgan Kolasa (second year, middle, Calgary, AB) controlled much of the first set from the middle position, recording three kills and influencing much of the Griffins offence. Her strong play, along with the strength of Alyssa Wolf (fourth year, outside hitter, Surrey, BC), would translate into a 25-11 romp in the early set.
Kolasa wound up with seven kills in 21 chances with a service ace, six digs and four block assists. Wolf had a team high 19 kills in 36 swings with 15 digs and a block assist.
Set two would see the Griffins find their energy and momentum as the block of Dakota Wilson and her outside blockers came alive to neutralize the hard hitting Iulia Pakhomenko (third set, outside hitter, Donatsk, Ukraine). The Griffins would go on to take the second set 25-23. Pakhomenko had 13 kills in 52 chances with two assists, two service aces, 15 digs and two block assists.
Known for their signature tough serving, the Griffins would utilize that weapon in the third as they forced the ‘Pack out of their comfort zone on serve receive. The home team would ride that momentum to a 25-19 third set victory.
In the closest set of the matches, both teams came out locked in for the fourth. Both setters, Porsha Diggs for the Griffins and Katie Woo (third year, setter, Surrey, BC) for the ‘Pack, ran exceptional offenses in the fourth making for a very entertaining set. The ‘Pack would prevail 25-22 on the strength of Pakhomenko who came alive with some thunderous kills. Woo had 17 assists.
In the fifth and deciding set it would be the Griffins who would take charge in the early goings. Michelle Bodnarek provided a strong option to outside hitters Cassidy Kinsella and Madison Porisky for the Griffins who earned the side change as the first team to eight points in the abbreviated game.
Following the side change, the ‘Pack continued to fight back, but the Griffins would reach the finish line first, taking the deciding set 15-12 and the match 3-2.
Kara Twomey (third year, setter, Winnipeg, MB) was named player of the match for TRU with 25 assists.
Also of note: Tyneille Neufeld (first year, outside hitter, Winnipeg, MB) had 4 kills in 20 chances and 13 digs while Brianne Rauch (third year, outside hitter, Kimberley, BC) had six kills in 14 swings and 11 digs.
Said WolfPack coach Chad Grimm: “We played with more energy today. We came out strong and put good pressure on them with our serve and receive game. Unfortunately, we couldn’t maintain that pressure and started to let them off the hook by missing too many service. It ultimately cost us.”
The WolfPack return home for a two game series against the second CIS ranked University of British Columbia Okanagan Heat. The teams play Thursday (Jan 15) in Kelowna before return to Kamloops and the Warner Rentals Court at the Tournament Capital Centre on Saturday (Jan 17). Game time is 5 pm.
Both matches will be shown on CanadaWest.TV