Kamloops BC: The University of British Columbia Thunderbirds men’s volleyball team has had a tough time winning on Friday nights on the road. Their previous two Friday night road encounters were defeats. They ended that streak on this night (Nov 18) at the Warner Rentals Court at the Tournament Capital Centre in Kamloops. They downed the Thompson Rivers University WolfPack 3-1. The scores were 25-15,25-20,16-25,25-19
The WolfPack battled back from a 2-0 deficit and gave the Thunderbirds a run. UBC was led by Cam Fennema (3rd year, outside hitter, Victoria, BC) who had 12 kills in 25 chances while Irvan Brar (4th year, outside hitter, Surrey, BC) added 10 kills. TRU’s main offensive threat was Daniel Eikeland Rod (5th year, outside hitter, Oz, Norway) with 13 kills. Randy Grundmann (4th year, outside hitter, Winnipeg, MB) added 12.
Daniel Eikeland Rod: 13 kills in 30 swings, 6 digs, 1 assist, 1 block assist
Randy Grundmann: 12 kills in 26 opportunities, 8 digs
Tyler Pomietlarz : 33 assists, 1 service ace, 6 digs
Cam Fennema: 12 kills in 25 chances, 1 assist, 6 digs
Irvan Brar 10 kills in 36 opportunities, 8 digs, 2 solo blocks, 3 block assists
Byron Keturakis: 40 assists, 5 digs, 1 solo block, 4 block assists, 1 kill in 7 swings
UBC 2-3 TRU 2-4
TRU Interim head coach Mike Hawkins:
On Match: “We talked before the game that regardless of the outcome we wanted to play the right way. In some of our losses, we have shut down and become very internal. I thought the guys—even when we were down 0-2 it felt different than it has. I think Tyler Pomietlarz (3rd year, setter, Kelowna, BC) and Tim Edge (3rd year, outside hitter, Langley, BC) added a ton of energy, they played well and we went on a bit of a roll.”
On what he liked: “I thought we swung aggressively. That was a big thing for us, to be aggressive on offense. When we went down in the past, we have been pretty passive. We can be pretty explosive offensively if we are aggressive. I thought we did a good job of that especially in the third set and we were rewarded for it.”
Thunderbirds head coach Kerry McDonald:
On breaking the Friday jinx: “ It is good to get a Friday win under our belt. We had a good first two sets and they didn’t really settle into a groove. They played better in three and four and really pushed us hard. They made us play worse in those two sets. I am happy with our battle and our pushback especially in the fourth.
On what he liked: “ The things we have been working on especially offensively. And our balanced offense. Everyone was contributing in their own way and we aren’t relying on one guy. I liked that style of play.”
Both teams will go at it again on Saturday (November 19th) on the Warner Rentals Court at the Tournament Capital Centre. Game time is 6:45 pm. Webcast on Canada West TV will begin around 6:30 pm. “I think they are going to come out harder and we have to do the same thing,” stated Grundmann about Saturday’s match.
Next weekend (Nov 25-26), the WolfPack will be visiting the MacEwan University Griffins in Edmonton, Alberta. UBC will be involved in a home and home series with the Trinity Western Spartans which begins Friday night at UBC.
OF NOTE: The “TRU Bookstore/McDonalds Leader of the Pack Player of the Match” was: Tim Edge (3rd year, outside hitter, Langley, BC). Edge had 7 kills in 20 chances with nine digs and a block assist.