WolfPack Women’s Basketball To Carleton For Exhibition Tourney.
Lots of exhibition basketball ahead for the Thompson Rivers University WolfPack women’s team this weekend.
Scott Reeves takes his team into Ottawa to play in a tournament at Carleton University. The WolfPack begin play Friday (Oct 21) night when they meet the Queen’s University Gaels.
“We are continuing to establish a winning set of standards on the court, in the classroom and in the community. We are excited to play some of the best teams in the country at Carleton this weekend.”
The ‘Pack meet up with host Carleton on Saturday (6 pm EDT) before finishing up Sunday (Noon EDT) against Concordia.
Reeves says all three of their opponents are truly some of the best in Canada. “Queen’s, Concordia and Carleton will all be considered in the top 10 this year. This will be a very good test for us to prepare for conference play.”
Since TRU doesn’t play these teams regularly, one has to ask how the coaching staff prepares for games—even exhibitions—like these. “I think coaches just want to play good games,” Reeves explains. “They want to provide the best litmus test for their program that they can.
He adds that the mindset remains the same as always evaluating your team and where we need to improve.
The WolfPack have added two more local players to the roster for the coming season. Forward Riley Oien and Danya Lincoln are graduates of South Kamloops and bring to six the number of Kamloops players on the roster
“Dani did a lot of work over the summer to walk onto this team,” Reeves explains. “She got in very good shape and worked on her skill set. She is picking up things quickly in practice and will be able to help us on the rebounding end for sure. Riley approached us about being a practice player to help us through some injuries. That turned out to be a position player once we saw her practice at this level. We are excited that Riley offered to help us and now it has turned into a great opportunity for her.”
The other local players on the WolfPack are fourth year forward Shenise Sigsworth and third year’s Kanesha Reeves, Emma Piggin and Emily Vilac. Reeves, Piggin, Vilac, Oien and Lincoln are all graduates of South Kamloops Secondary. Sigsworth went to Sa-hali Secondary.
After the tournament, the ‘Pack return home but then head to Victoria next weekend for their two final exhibition games of the year. Thompson Rivers opens their 2016-17 Canada West regular season on the Warner Rentals Court at the Tournament Capital Centre on Friday, November 4th against the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds. Tip off will be 6 pm
WolfPack Men’s Basketball At Home Vs Trinity
Home after a pair of exhibition overtime losses last weekend, the Thompson Rivers University WolfPack men’s basketball team will be back in action on Saturday (Oct 22).
The ‘Pack will host the Trinity Western University Spartans in pre-season play on the Warner Rentals Court at the Tournament Capital Centre. Tipoff is 8 pm.
WolfPack head coach Scott Clark says its early in the season, but his team did learn some lessons following extra time defeats to a pair of teams Clark continues to be strong; MacEwan and Saskatchewan. “We have right with those teams, “he says. “ Both made the playoffs last year. It was a bit unfortunate we didn’t come away with any victories. At times, we looked OK but at other times we did not. On a positive note we see there is a lot of room for improvement. The negative is there room for improvement. Teams that are good have a continued mindset of getting better and understand what it takes to do that. Hopefully we have those ingredients and we will get better. But that remains to be seen.”
Thompson Rivers has a lot of new faces: either out of high school or from another league. The previous two exhibition losses did give them a baptism by fire to life in the Canada West. “Hopefully it will be a positive experience for those guys to have performed in a pressure situation early on. We will know at the end of the year. I felt OK about our first two exhibition games. I hope the guys take a look at the result and want to improve upon it through hard work so they get better.”
Clark says they are approaching Trinity Western the same way as they did their first two exhibition games. “It’s exhibition. You want to play well. The goal is to play good basketball and see what happens. Do I think we have played good basketball yet? Not really. There have been some signs. We have potential. That is what you hope to do. Playing at home is nice because we don’t have to travel. You can get a little rested for the following week as well.”
The WolfPack have some final exhibition games next weekend (Oct 27-29) in Vancouver before opening up their 2016-17 Canada West regular season on Friday, November 4th on the Warner Rentals court at the Tournament Capital Centre. The opposition will be the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds. Tip off will be 8 pm.
WolfPack Men’s Soccer Hoping to Secure First Ever Playoff Spot
Another pressure filled weekend for the Thompson Rivers University WolfPack men’s soccer team. In search of their first ever Canada West post season appearance, the WolfPack have ‘critical’ matches against the University of Victoria Vikes and the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds.
The WolfPack sit in fourth place in the Canada West Pacific Division with 6-71. That is three points back of third place University of Fraser Valley and two ahead of fifth place UBC Okanagan. The top four teams make the post season.
The opponents for TRU this weekend are both established franchises. This season, UBC has secured a playoff spot and sit in second place with a record of 7-1-6. Victoria is in the basement at 4-9-1. This is the final weekend of the Canada West regular campaign.
WolfPack coach John Antulov: “These are critical games as there are still 4 teams including UVIC battling for the last playoff spot, so there is little room for error. What happened against Victoria last time doesn’t translate to now. They won’t be happy with their last game against us and will look to change that result. We have seen firsthand in Canada West that anyone can beat anyone on any given day and we must be mentally prepared and focused to play on Friday. UVIC is a very well coached and balanced team and they will be ready to play us. “
As is the case at this time of the year with all teams, the WolfPack have had a number of players sitting out suspensions due to yellow cards. After having Thomas Lantmeeters (1st year, defender, Zulendaal, Belgium) and Justin Donaldson (2nd year, midfielder, Kamloops, BC) sitting out Sunday’s loss to Fraser Valley, the ‘Pack will be missing Colton Walker (4th year, midfield, Sicamous, BC) out for both games this week.
“It is a little frustrating as our discipline has been very good this year,” says Antulov.”But we have not been smart the last couple of games and we have been missing key players the last couple of games, but that has given our younger players the opportunity to step up and get starts and they have done well in stepping in and showing they can play at this level.”
Looking at the opponents this weekend, Antulov believes they match up pretty well with UVIC and despite a big victory over them earlier this year at Hillside Stadium (4-0) they aren’t taking them for granted. As for UBC? “They are a very difficult side to break down. They are strong from top to bottom and we will have to be at our best to get a result from them. We have confidence from our first game with them and will have to take that confidence into the game on Saturday.”
Going into the final weekend Ryan Glanville (4th year, forward, Williams Lake, BC) stands third in Canada West goal scoring with 9. That is one ahead of teammate Donaldson.
Should the WolfPack make the post season, it would be their first ever playoff appearance in Canada West. They would battle the Prairie Division regular season champion Alberta Golden Bears in Edmonton next week.
This weekend’s final regular season tilts are available to be viewed on Canada West TV on a pay-per-view basis
WolfPack Women’s Soccer Set To Close Out Season At Home
The curtain falls on the 2016 Canada West women’s soccer season for the Thompson Rivers University WolfPack this weekend.
The ‘Pack will finish the campaign out at Hillside Stadium with matches Saturday (Oct 22) and Sunday (Oct 23) against the University of Regina Cougars and the University of Saskatchewan Huskies. Kick off both days will be 1 pm.
It is “Alumni Weekend” and “Graduating Players’ Day” on Sunday. It is the first time both those teams have ever paid a visit to Kamloops to play soccer since TRU entered the Canada West.
The WolfPack enter the weekend at 1-10. Regina is tied for fourth in the Prairie Division at 3-6-3 while Saskatchewan is tied for second in the Prairie with a 6-3-3 record.
“Wow this comes fast,” says WolfPack head coach Kelly Shantz about the end of the season. “Seems like just a couple of weeks ago we met for the first day of camp but that’s the CIS soccer season. We are happy our last weekend of the season is at home with the big Alumni and family celebration going at the same time. Playing teams from the Prairies is always a nice change so we are looking forward to it.”
Shantz began a massive rebuild of this program with only one fourth year player and only three starters from the previous year. When asked about the team’s evolution, Shantz stated: “About as expected really. The coaching staff knew that with so many new faces it would be a constant evolution of learning who can do what, what systems will work and which are too much along with who can respond to the pressure of increased training, expectations and a pressure packed schedule. We are really proud of the entire team. They worked hard in practice and in the video room and genuinely want to improve as fast as possible. They put the hours in. It’s been a learning year so all we can hope for is for the youth to learn and absorb. I think we have the learning down, but the test going forward will be for these players to absorb the information into their soccer DNA and retain it.”
Shantz says its ‘business as usual’ when it comes to preparation: “We are approaching the same as the rest. Our goal all year has been to get better week to week and play to win. Same applies this week.”
The WolfPack were only able to play one match last weekend after being ‘snowed out’ in Prince George. It did give the youthful TRU squad a chance to do more ‘bonding’. “I love this group. We enjoy our time together, the girls get along as a group and have done so all year. The crazy weekend proved this: Tons of hours on a bus in terrible weather most of the time, one game cancelled, then a big delay getting home while we stopped at a hospital in Alberta for a player to treat (which turned out not to be serious thankfully) and the ladies handled it all in stride and in good company. We have started a pretty tight culture here now and it can only help us build for the future.”
Both games will be available on a pay per view basis if you can’t attend by logging onto www.canadawest.tv
THROW INS: Alumni and family along with fans will get the chance to meet the WolfPack at the “Den” family restaurant at the Campus Activity Centre on Saturday (Oct 22). The players and coaching staff will be there from 3-6 pm. On Sunday (Oct 23), the ‘Pack will be saying good bye to midfielder Katie Harding (4th year, Salmon Arm, BC). Harding is in her fourth year of eligibility but is graduating this coming spring from the TRU Nursing program.
WolfPack to Play Six Games This Weekend
The Thompson Rivers University WolfPack Baseball team are back on the field this weekend in what could be their last games of the fall. After coming off a 1-3 weekend against Okanagan College, the ‘Pack is looking to have a better upcoming weekend.
The ‘Pack will be getting more games in this weekend by splitting the team into two teams on Saturday (Oct 22nd). The younger players on the team are going to stay in Kamloops and play at Norbrock Stadium against the Okanagan A’s high school team. Game times are 1pm and 4pm. The older players will be heading down to Chilliwack to play the University of Fraser Valley Cascades at Fairfield Park. Game times are also at 1pm and 4pm.
On Sunday (Oct 23rd), all the members of the WolfPack will be staying in Kamloops to take on the A’s again. Game times are also 1pm and 4pm.
“Weather is getting cold so we need to come with everything we got in these games,” says outfielder Malcolm Upton, “you don’t know when it’s going to be your last (of the fall).”
“We’re looking to end fall ball on a high note,” says outfielder Zach Chaba, “after dropping three last weekend, we want a better result this weekend,”
With this potentially being the last weekend of real games for the WolfPack, they are looking forward to finishing the fall on a high note. The team will be heading inside for the winter soon and they want to head inside on a winning streak.