Thunderbirds Outlast WolfPack In Classic Canada West MVB Battle

In what was likely one of the most entertaining and exciting Canada West men’s volleyball matches witnessed in this city in recent years, the Thompson Rivers University WolfPack dropped a hard fought 3-2 decision to the visiting University of British Columbia Thunderbirds. The scores Saturday (Nov 19) night on the Warner Rentals court at the Tournament Capital Centre were 29-27,22-25,20-25,25-18,17-15.


Both coaches called the match “character building”. The match could have gone either way.  TRU came back from a 1-0 deficit to take the next two sets. Two of the sets including the fifth went into extra points. UBC was led by Irvan Brar (4th year, outside hitter, Surrey, BC) with 17 kills in 40 chances and nine digs.  TRU’s top offensive weapon was Daniel Eikland Rod (5th year, outside hitter, Oz, Norway) with 19 kills in 41 swings with seven digs, one assist and one block assist.


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Daniel Eikeland Rod: 19 kills in 41 opportunities, 7 digs, 1 block assist, 1 assist

Randy Grundman: 15 kills in 49 chances, 8 digs, 2 block assists.

Tim Edge: 15 kills in 31 swings, 11 digs, 2 assists, 1 block assist

Cole Keddie: 10 digs, 3 assists.


Irvan Brar: 17 kills in 41 opportunities, 9 digs,1 assist, 1 service ace

Cam Fennema: 15 kills in 38 chances, 3 assists, 6 digs, 1 block assist

Mat Guidi: 12 kills in 38 chances, 6 digs, 1 service ace, 1 solo block and 2 block assists

Byron Keturakis: 54 assists, 10 digs, 1 solo block, 4 block assists



UBC 3-2                   TRU 1-6


TRU Interim head coach Mike Hawkins:

On Match:It was a tough match. It was back and forth. We talked before it about controlling the ‘air of the game’.  Finding more energy on your side than their side. I thought both sides did a good job of that. When one was getting momentum, the other had a concerted effort to get it back.  This was a fun game. It felt like a playoff game in November. For our young guys who haven’t experienced a game like this, we have to understand we can play good volleyball. UBC played very good volleyball. “


What did he learn about his team: “A lot of guys had a lot of different roles From Smitty (Isaac, 3rd year, Kelowna, BC) coming in for a bunch of guys.  Jake (Jakob Hamilton, 1st year, setter, Calgary, AB) coming in on a double serve. I put him in a really tough spot at the end of the game. It was a high pressure situation and he went back there and popped a good serve. We didn’t get the point but he did his job for the team. I thought all weekend, guys were very team oriented. A lot of things we asked guys to do were roles that they weren’t familiar with. They did a good job when they got on the floor.”

Leadership of Randy Grundmann (4th year, outside hitter, Winnipeg, MB) and Rod: “They delivered as did Tim Edge (3rd year, outside hitter, Langley, BC). They are much different than our other leaders. Jordan Foot (4th year, middle, Prince George, BC) and Edge are guys that like to scream out there. Randy and Danny really lay it out there on the floor. They urge their teammates to come join them. A lot of people responded well to that.”

Says despite being swept, this could be a pivotal weekend for his team: “I suggest that anyone who didn’t catch the highlights or watch this match live to watch it on pay per view. It was five sets of really, really entertaining volleyball. UBC is a strong team. They have a number of strong players. For us to have two really strong matches, where we went toe to toe with them.  Aside from the first two sets last night we were in every set this weekend. We need to understand that we are in that caliber. It depends on how we play. If we play like this we will have a lot of success.”

Thunderbirds head coach Kerry McDonald:

On Match: “It was a great battle. They are a good TRU team. They are a tough team to play. I thought they played very well tonight and forced us to play our best volleyball of the year to beat them.”

Said the match was ‘character building”:  For sure. We haven’t played a tight fifth set match this year. There is a lot to learn from that. It was great for us to have a battle. We got down early in the match and showed some character.”

On Play of Brar: “He was great. He is our captain. He is a fourth year and a leader of the group. We expect that from him.”



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: Tyler Pomietlartz (3rd year, setter, Kelowna, BC).  He had 46 assists, eight digs, two block assists

Thunderbirds Come Back To Sweep WolfPack In Women’s Volleyball

After playing a match which their coach believed was a total breakdown, the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds rallied and swept the host Thompson Rivers University WolfPack 3-0. The scores on the Warner Rentals Court at the Tournament Capital Centre were 25-16,25-16, 25-23.



The Thunderbirds rallied with a strong effort after being swept the previous night by TRU.  Danielle Brisebois (5th year, outside hitter, Bolton, ON) led the way with 18 kills  in 31 chances with two service aces and seven digs.

Iullia Pakhomenko (5th year, outside hitter, Donetsk, Ukraine) had 15 kills in 38 swings with eight digs for TRU.


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Iullia Pakhomenko: 15 kills in 38 opportunities, 8 digs, 1 block assist

Rachel Windhorst: 8 kills in 25 chances, 7 digs, 3 block assists

Abby Spratt: 18 assists, 3 digs, 1 block assist

Morgan Kolasa: 1 kill in 4 opportunities, 2 service aces, 3 digs, 3 block assists

Savannah Guttman: 10 assists, 2 digs


Danielle Brisebois: 18 kills in 31 swings, 2 service aces, 7 digs, 1 block assist

Maggie Li: 8 kills in 11 chances, 1 service ace, 4 digs, 2 block assists

Victoria Behie: 6 kills in 27 opportunities, 5 digs, 1 block assist

Alessandra Gentile: 21 assists, 4 digs, 2 block assists

Samantha Patko: 10 digs


UBC  5-1          TRU 4-4


TRU head coach Chad Grimm:

On Match:  “UBC came out a lot stronger, which we expected. They served the ball better. They passed the ball better. They won that portion of the game. It didn’t allow us to find our flow. They kept putting pressure on us even though we were right there in a couple of sets. After 15, they made a couple of runs. In the last set, we had our chances but we didn’t get it done.”

Inconsistency:  “We weren’t far off from yesterday but UBC was so much better than Friday. You miss a few assignments here and there and you lose by two points. That’s the competitiveness of our league. Until we are a little more disciplined, the results are going to be a bit unstable.”

On what positives they can take from the weekend; “ A .500 weekend is better than 0 and 2. If we want to go where we want to go we have to be more consistent every single night. There is no reason why we can’t pull off sweeps at home against teams like UBC. They are a good team but so are we.”

Thunderbirds coach Doug Reimer:

On match: “We were definitely a different team today (in comparison to Friday’s 3-0 loss). I am very proud of how they rebounded and a group. We started really well. We maintained that through the majority of the match. You don’t know through a season but for us, I think this might be an important game especially going into the last few of this term.”

On Play of Brisebois: “She was high on my list that way (as a leader). She was not effective last night. I think she got a bit rattled and didn’t help the team as much as she can. Tonight, she showed why she is a really good player. Offensively she was outstanding and had steady play all around.”

They are taking a lot from this weekend:  “ One is that we have to make sure that we are ready to play in night one of the weekend. That hasn’t been stellar so far this year. Last night was very weak.  We must believe that we can do what we did tonight on a nightly basis. We need to build the consistency and remember the high level of play we are capable of.”



Next weekend (Nov 25-26), the WolfPack will be on the road for their final set of league matches before the Christmas break. They will be in Edmonton, Alberta visiting the MacEwan University Griffins.  The Thunderbirds will play a home and home series with the Trinity Western University Spartans beginning Friday night (Nov 25) in Vancouver.


OF NOTE:   The “TRU Bookstore/McDonalds Leader of the Pack Player of the Match” was: Pakhomenko.

WolfPack Men’s Basketball Swept In Alberta

The Thompson Rivers University WolfPack leave the city of Edmonton, Alberta without any points in Canada West men’s basketball. The ‘Pack lost to the host University of Alberta Golden Bears 83-52  Saturday night (Nov 19) at the Saville Centre.


The Golden Bears remain unbeaten (6-0) on the season while TRU drops to 1-5.  TRU had two players in double figures: Joe Davis (2nd year, forward, Kamloops, BC) had 11 points while Volodymyr Iegorov (5th year, forward, Donetsk, Ukraine) added 10 points.   Alberta’s top scorer was Mamadou Gueye with 17 points. Austin Waddoups added 16 points.   TRU trailed 46-24 at the half.




Joe Davis: 11 points, 3 rebounds in 24 minutes

Volodymyr Iegorov: 10 points, 2 blocks, 2 steals, 5 rebounds (3 defense) in 23 minutes

Mike Rouault: 10 rebounds (5 each way)  in 21 minutes


Marmadou Gueye: 17 points, 7 rebounds (4 on defense) in 28 minutes

Austin Waddoups 16 points, 4 steals, 2 assists, 1 block in 20 minutes

Brody Clarke: 9 points, 7 rebounds (6 on defense), 1 block in 28 minutes

Ivan Ikomey: 9 points, 1 assist, 1 steal,  4 rebounds (3 on defense) in 18 minutes.


Alberta 6-0    TRU 1-5


TRU  head coach Scott Clark :

On the Contest:  “Fatigue was a bit of a factor for us. We are anxious to get home after playing the last two weeks on the road.”


The  WolfPack’s next home game will be Friday, November 25th on the Warner Rentals Court at the Tournament Capital Centre. Tip off will be 8 pm against the UBCO Heat.  You can see the game on a pay per view basis by logging onto  WWW.CanadawestTV.  The pre-game show will be on the air around 7:45 pm.

It will be their last home stand before the Christmas break.