Kamloops, BC—The Thompson Rivers University WolfPack will see a lot of airports and busses in the second half of their Canada West men’s volleyball season. The Pack will be away from the Tournament Capital Centre for four of the eight remaining weekends of the 2016-17 campaign.
The WolfPack open things up this week with matches in Calgary against the University of Calgary Dinos. The teams will play Thursday (Jan 5) and Friday (Jan 6).
Going into this week’s play, TRU sits in 12th place (1-9) while Calgary is in 10th (3-7).
Interim head coach Mike Hawkins looks at returning to league play like this: “Regardless if we were starting home or away, the beginning of the second semester is always tough coming off the holidays, which is accentuated even more with our schedule beginning before school starts. The guys have been back training since the 27th, putting the work in the gym to be ready for this weekend. “
The Pack hosted MacEwan Griffins and the Montreal Caribins (RESQ) last week for exhibition scrimmages and matches. “It was perfect for all three programs. We had the opportunity to train on our own and those teams, as well as getting some match time against good competition. Montreal is ranked #5 in the country and played very well against us. While we didn’t get the result, I thought we competed at a high level for the most part. After the break, we expected that our skills weren’t going to be as sharp as they could be, but the effort and intensity was there. Overall, I thought we played well and the competition prepared us for the upcoming matches against U of C. “
When asked how his team matches up against the Dinos, Hawkins responded: “Regardless of what your team is like, after losing a player like Keith West like Calgary did, there is going to be a bit of a regression. That said, Calgary still has a number of talented players and always playing great defense against us. Similar to us, they will be hungry to start of their semester on a positive note, so I expect a very determined group from their side. “
Hawkins says his team’s record is a bit deceiving. “We understand where we’re at in the standings and where our roster is in terms of our competitive cycle. If you look at our season so far in black and white, our record doesn’t show a ton of success. For those who have been around our team this year however, you’ll see that our group has really developed both individually and collectively, and I expect that to start turning up in our results. For us, all we can focus on is playing our style of volleyball and consistently getting better each day. If you focus on the process, if you’re constantly striving to improve, then I firmly believe the results will take care of themselves. “
TRU doesn’t return home until Friday, January 27th when they host the University of Regina Cougars on the Warner Rentals court at the Tournament Capital Centre.