Kamloops, BC—The Thompson Rivers University WolfPack battled back from a 2-0 deficit but couldn’t pull out a Halloween miracle at the Tournament Capital Centre on Saturday (Oct 31).
The WolfPack wound up losing a five set decision to the visiting University of Calgary Dinos. The scores on the Warner Rentals Court were 25-18,25-23,25-27,24-26,15-10.
TRU falls to 3-3 on the year while the Dinos move to 4-2.
“It was a roller coaster of momentum not only tonight but the entire weekend,” said Dinos head coach Natalie Gurnsey. “I felt like we battled well and found ways to get us back into matches where it looked like the momentum had totally gone away from us. It was battling ourselves again on the serve/pass. Anytime we gave Thompson Rivers momentum, our passing attack broke down.”
“I think Calgary came out a bit stronger tonight in the area of serve/possession and played a little tougher,” stated WolfPack head coach Chad Grimm. “We came out flat and didn’t find our groove until it was 20-10 for them in the second set. We made a decision to start playing and not worrying about what other people would or should be doing.”
The Dinos had four players in double figures in kills. Ali Woolley led the way with 19 kills in 56 swings with two assists, a service ace, 12 digs and a block assists.
Brianna Solberg (3rd year, outside hitter, Winnipeg, MB) had 14 kills in 35 chances with a service ace, 13 digs and one block assists. Laura McManes (3rd year, outside hitter, Winnipeg, MB) added 12 kills in 37 opportunities with four assists, three service aces, nine digs and six block assists while Beth Vinnell (2nd year, middle, Cochrane, AB) contributed 10 kills in 19 chances with three digs, one solo block and five block assists.
Gurnsey praised her play: “ We found her down the stretch when we needed her. We didn’t get her as many balls as we did last night. Tonight, she had better scoring opportunities.”
Erika Mydre (2nd year, setter, Strathmore, AB) had 53 assists for the Dinos.
TRU was led again by Iullia Pakhomenko (4th year, outside hitter, Dontesk, Ukraine). She had 32 kills in 67 chances with four assists, three service aces, nine digs and two block assists.
On Pakhomenko, Grimm said “It is not hard to see how Iullia played with 37 points but I think this is the most fire she has shown this season. Our team really grabbed onto that which was great to see.”
Gurnsey praised the play of Pakhomenko, even though the Dinos tried to double and triple block her the entire game. “She actually got most of her kills from the back court. I thought we did a fantastic job against her in the front row.”
Krista Hogewoning (5th year, outside hitter, Delta, BC) had eight kills in 33 chances with 14 digs, a service ace and two block assists. Katie Woo (4th year, setter, Surrey, BC) had 52 assists, two service aces, 14 digs and one block assist. Alyssa Wolf (5th year, libero, South Surrey, BC) contributed 19 digs.
The WolfPack head to Winnipeg for matches next weekend (Nov 6-7) while the Dinos go to Vancouver to meet UBC.
SIDE OUTS: Grimm added: “I think as a group we really started to learn how to just play. We didn’t hold our head after being down 2-0 in the match and losing pretty handily. We made a decision to compete. Obviously, when you go to a fifth set you have a chance.”
The WolfPack athletes presented the Boys and Girls Club a cheque for $1100 dollars as part of their TRUly United campaign. Each athlete contributed at least five dollars to the cause.