Kamloops, BC—Lots of sub plots on the go as the Thompson Rivers University WolfPack meet up with the University of British Columbia Okanagan Heat in Canada West women’s volleyball this weekend.
As the teams gear up to play a home and home series tonight (Feb 16) in Kamloops and Saturday (Feb 18) in Kelowna, they find themselves tied for fifth place with identical 12-8 records. The WolfPack have won their last six matches while UBCO has dropped their last two.
“It will be a good matchup,” said Thompson Rivers head coach Chad Grimm. “Both teams had a large turnover in starters from last year. I believe both lost four to graduation. Even though there are a lot of new faces for both teams it should be an exciting couple of matches.”
Grimm says as far as the post season goes: “Neither of us will be able to host a playoff round so it will determine fifth and sixth in the standings. It looks as though one of us will be play UBC and the other Calgary but that will be determined for sure over the next two weekends.”
Statistically, Aiden Lee (2nd year, middle, Kelowna, BC) is the only member of the Heat to be among the leaders in Canada West. She leads the league in hitting percent (.345).
Iullia Pakhomenko (5th year, outside hitter, Kamloops, BC) leads Canada West in kills per set (4.87) and kills (341), is second in hitting per centage (.300) and fifth in service aces per set (0.50). Abby Spratt (1st year, setter, Calgary, AB) is third in assists per set (9.49).
Grimm says the team has been excelling in a few aspects of their overall game of late. “ The girls have been quite efficient offensively and from the service line. We will just need to clean up some things with our block and defense. Although I haven’t liked our starts, I think the girls have shown a high level of resiliency and patience in coming back from deficits and not getting frustrated so that is a good sign.”
He adds that the Pack’s transition game has improved along with the teams ability to stay in sets and grind out wins when things are less than perfect.
Game time tonight is 6 pm at the Warner Rentals Court at the Tournament Capital Centre.
After the match, the WolfPack will honor their four graduating players: Pakhomenko, Alina Sopizhuk (5th year, outside hitter, Donetsk, Ukraine), Morgan Kolasa and Julia Niemczewska (4th year, middle and outside hitter. both Calgary, AB).