Kamloops BC: Volleyball fans got their money’s worth for the second straight night in Canada West men’s play at the Tournament Capital Centre in Kamloops, BC.
The host Thompson Rivers University WolfPack and the University of Regina Cougars went a full five sets again on Saturday (Jan 28). This time, fans went home happy as the WolfPack prevailed 3-2
The WolfPack won the match: 26-24,25-19,17-25,25-27,15-13. TRU moves to 2-14 on the year while Regina falls to 1-17.
Thompson Rivers was led by Anton Napolitano (1st year, outside hitter, Victoria, Australia) and Charlie Bringloe (2nd year, outside hitter, Waterloo, ON). Both had 16 kills. Jakob Hamilton (1st year, setter, Calgary, AB) contributed 53 assists, 16 digs and 2 block assists.
Regina’s main man was Matthew Aubrey (1st year, right side, Brisbane, Australia) with 17 kills
Anton Napolitano: 16 kills in 37 chances, 2 service aces, 7 digs, 3 block assists
Charlie Bringloe: 16 kills in 32 opportunities, 6 digs, 1 block assist
Randy Grundmann: 11 kills on 18 swings, 3 digs, 2 block assists
Daniel Eikeland Rod: 11 kills in 23 chances, 1 assist, 1 service ace, 4 digs
Kyle Behiels: 9 kills in 13 swings, 1 service ace, 4 block assists.
Jakob Hamilton: 53 assists, 16 digs, 3 block assists
Matthew Aubrey: 17 kills in 47 swings, 8 digs, 2 block assists
Dalton Wolfe: 16 kills in 40 chances, 3 digs, 2 block assists
PJ Seekings: 15 kills in 25 opportunities, 2 service aces, 2 digs
Michael Corrigan: 52 assists, 6 digs, 3 kills in 5 chances, 3 block assists
TRU: 2-14 REGINA:1-17
TRU interim head coach Mike Hawkins (1st year):
On fifth setter
“We didn’t seem to want to win it in three or four. That is natural when you have been on the streak like we have been on. We have been in a lot of close games and haven’t pulled them out. You get in those situations and you tense up. It’s really easy to tell the guys to focus on one point, focus on doing your job. I know what it is like to be in those situations. You feel nervous, you feel tight, you feel that you need to do a little extra to win that set. I was really proud the way the guys kept it together in the fifth. We knew in the third and the fourth we got a little too up tight. But in the fifth, we washed it away. Regina played well in the end but we found a way to score a few more points.
On his revamped lineup with players who started on the bench on Friday coming up big Saturday:
“I felt at the end of the match yesterday (Friday), they earned their way onto the court. I thought Anton did a great job coming in last night and providing a spark on the right side. I think he is a big reason why we came out of the gate firing. He was hitting extremely efficiently and was a calming presence out there. Guys like Jordan Foot (4th year, middle, Prince George, BC) is one of those energy guys. He did his job and providing energy and controlling their middle. For those guys, the opportunity is there for them. We don’t have a set lineup. It is going to be sort of a meritocracy. Whoever earns it in practice or on the weekend will get their shot.”
Cougars head coach Greg Barthel (10th year):
On tough loss:
“It was a good mind switch for the guys in the third set. I think we tried to adjust to a different serving strategy and a few less errors and putting a little more pressure on them with our serve possibly. It seemed to work for a bit. They showed some good resiliency in the fifth to come out and play well.”
On .500 weekend
“With our group being so young, any time we can learn to play as a group and play together we learn hard work is where we want to go. It will help us down the road learning to do that . Hope we can continue that on next week.”
Next weekend (Feb 3-4), the WolfPack will be visiting the University of Manitoba Bisons in Winnipeg while the Cougars will entertain the MacEwan University Griffins.
Next home match for the WolfPack will be Friday, February 10th at the Tournament Capital Centre when the University of Winnipeg Wesmen pay a visit. The women will play at 6 pm with the men taking to the Warner Rentals Court at 7:45 pm. That match will also be the honoring of the university career of the WolfPack’s lone 5th year player: Daniel Eikeland Rod (Oz Norway).
His mother is flying into Kamloops for the weekend. He will be honored before the men’s match on Friday. Head coach Pat Hennelly, who is on a year sabbatical will make a presentation.
All of the above will be shown on a pay per view basis on Canada West TV.
OF NOTE: The “TRU Bookstore/McDonalds Leader of the Pack Player of the Match” was Napolitano.