Kamloops, BC—The Thompson Rivers University WolfPack women’s volleyball team has its first road swing of the young Canada West season this weekend. The ‘Pack head to the easternmost point of the league for a pair of matches against the Brandon University Bobcats.  The teams will play matches Friday and Saturday night (Nov 4-5).

Both teams lost their opening two matches.

Brandon fell to UBC Okanagan twice in Kelowna. The ‘Pack were at home where they dropped a pair of decisions to the University of Alberta Pandas.  The Pandas are ranked second again in this week’s U Sports top 10 rankings.

TRU coach Chad Grimm said he saw some positives from his team following their five set and three set defeats. “I think we showed that we can put ourselves in a position to be successful against anybody in the country, now we just need to take that experience and embrace the challenge of finishing teams.”

Grimm expects Brandon to provide a stiff challenge: “Brandon is always a tough team to play against and will be much different than last season.  The have some players that are flexible in the positions they can play so they will be able to score in a variety of ways so we need to be ready to be flexible within our defensive systems and take care of the things we can control on our side of the net.”

He adds: “Brandon passes the ball quite well, have an experienced setter back in the lineup who does a great job of running their offense, and are able to score out of their middle blocking position exceptionally well.  They will provide a big challenge to our group but we are always excited to test ourselves against a strong opponent.”

When Grimm looks at his personnel, he says a couple of them stood out in their individual performance in week 1.  “I think there were a lot of girls who had some very good moments for us.  As a first year setter having to run our offense against a perennial powerhouse in Alberta the first weekend was a big challenge but Abby Spratt (1st year, Calgary,AB) took that challenge head on and I think did some excellent things.  I also like the compete level of Rachel Windhorst (3rd year, outside hitter, Surrey, BC).  After the disappointment of Friday she showed that she is able to come back on Saturday and put her compete level on the line and our group just needs to get on board with that attitude and I think we can be successful.”
After these matches: the WolfPack return home to kick off a four match home stand against the Mount Royal University Cougars.  That match will be played Remembrance Day (Nov 11) on the Warner Rentals court at the Tournament Capital Centre.  Game time is 6 pm.

The matches this weekend are available on a pay-per-view basis on Canada West TV.


SIDE OUTS: The WolfPack have two players among the leaders in Canada West statistics.  Avery Pottle (1st year, middle, Uxbridge ON) is second in the league in blocks per set (2.33) while Spratt sits fifth in assists per set (8.00).