The Thompson Rivers University WolfPack were swept by the host University of Saskatchewan Huskies on the final weekend of the Canada West women’s volleyball regular season.
After dropping a 4 set decision on Friday (Feb 24), the Pack lost in straight sets to the Huskies. The scores on Saturday (Feb 25) were 25-
With their playoff position of sixth firmly secured, the WolfPack rested starters Rachel Windhorst (3rd year, outside, Surrey, BC), Iullia Pakhomenko (5th year, outside, Donetsk, Ukraine), Abby Spratt (1st year, setter, Calgary, AB),Mikayla Funk (1st year, outside, Surrey, BC) and Kaitlin Lomas (4th year, middle, Ponoka, AB). Lomas saw action in the third set though
TRU started rookies Avery Pottle (middle, Uxbridge, ON) , Hali Drezet (setter, Prince George BC) along with fifth years Julia Niemczewska (outside, Calgary, AB) and Alina Sopizhuk (outside, Donetsk, Ukraine).
Saskatchewan 25 25 25
TRU 21 13 23
Kendra Finch: 11 kills in 33 swings, 1 service ace, 6 digs, 12 points
Alina Sopizhuk: 5 kills in 17 opportunities, 5 digs, five points
Julia Niemczewska: 3 kills in 13 attempts, 4 digs, 2 block assists, 4 points
Hali Drezet: 20 assists, 1 service ace,2 digs, 2 points
Avery Pottle: 2 kills in 12 opportunities, 1 solo block, 3 block assists, 4.5 points
Carly Gunter: 12 digs, 2 assists.
Emmalyn Copping: 13 kills in 33 chances, 1 service ace, 6 digs, 14 points
Emily Humbert 8 kills in 11 chances, 6 service aces, 2 digs, 1 solo block, 1 block assist, 15.5 points
Taylor Annala: 5 kills in 15 swings, 6 digs, 5 points
Marguerite Ferguson: 4 kills in 12 opportunities, 1 dig, 4 points
Mackenzie Pek: 28 assists, 6 digs, 2 block assists, 3 points
TRU 13-11 Saskatchewan: 8-16
TRU head coach Chad Grimm:
“This was the only meaningless match of the season as far as the standings and positioning went. We thought we would rest some of our starters and give some of the girls who have worked so hard in practice some time. We have travelled a lot in the second half and thought our starters could use the night off.
In the first and third sets we were right there. The issue was that we couldn’t get over the hump to get that last point. The good things that stood out for me were blocking better at sealing off the net along with the play of Carly Gunter (2nd year, libero, Courtenay, BC) at libero.”
On performance of Julia Niemczewska and Alina Sopizhuk in final career regular season match:
“Neither has seen a lot of time on the floor this year. I thought both contributed and fought hard tonight. They were in a tough situation, Sask played well. We shot ourselves in the foot at the service line giving them a lot of free points.”
The regular season has come to a close. TRU made the playoffs and will take on the UBC Thunderbirds in Vancouver next week. It will be a best of three series and begin on Friday (Mar 3). Those matches will be shown on a pay per view basis on Canada West TV.
UBC and TRU met for two matches on the Warner Rentals Court in February. The WolfPack won the first match in straight sets (Feb 18). The scores were 25-22,25-18,25-6. The second night (Feb19), UBC won 3-0 (25-16,25-16,25-23).
Although she didn’t play, Pakhomenko will finish the year as the leader in kills (381) and kills per set (4.65). She was fourth in hitting percent (.281).
Spratt finished third in the Canada West in assists per set (9.18) while Kendra Finch (2nd year, North Vancouver, BC) finished fifth in Canada West in digs per set (3.28).
A number of WolfPack parents made their way to Saskatoon to cheer on their daughters. Many holding orange neon signs with their daughter’s name and number on it.