Kamloops, BC—The Thompson Rivers University WolfPack volleyball teams will open the 2017-18 Canada West regular season on the friendly confines of the Warner Rentals court at the Tournament Capital Centre.
Canada West has released its schedule and on the opening night (Friday, October 20), the WolfPack will be hosting the MacEwan University Griffins of Edmonton, Alberta in the first of a two match weekend series.
The TRU women will play at 6 pm with the men taking to the floor at 7:45 pm.
That is the first of seven weekends of home matches that the ‘Pack will have during the season. Three of those: (Nov 3-4 vs Brandon University) and (Nov 24-25 against University of Manitoba) occur before Christmas.
Other teams making a visit to the TCC this year will be Saskatchewan, Calgary, UBCO and Trinity Western. The Spartans play the WolfPack on the final weekend of the regular season (Feb 16-17).
“Overall, our schedule doesn’t change too much year to year,” says WolfPack women’s head coach Chad Grimm. “We play a balanced schedule and see every team either home or away. Our travel will be a little lighter this year and spend the bulk of our second semester at home. That will be nice.”
Following a 13-11 season, Grimm and the WolfPack will feature a team in a ‘regrouping’ mode following the graduation of Iuliia Pakhomenko: arguably the best player in Canadian university women’s volleyball the last two seasons. Grimm is looking at Rachel Windhorst (4th year, outside hitter, Surrey, BC) and sophomores Mikayla Funk (outside hitter, Surrey, BC) along with Abby Spratt (setter, Calgary, AB) to be leaders. Funk and Spratt were Canada West rookie all-stars last season.
WolfPack men’s coach Pat Hennelly says “I like this schedule have a nice second semester with a lot of home weekends and a late bye. If we are successful making the post season the schedule is certainly in our favor. Should be a great home opening weekend versus MacEwan, they swept us last year at their place so it should be a nice start to the season. “
Hennelly returns to direct the TRU men’s squad after a year’s leave of absence. The ‘Pack finished 2-22 last season. The core of the team is entering their third and fourth years of eligibility. They are expecting a big fifth and final season out of both Randy Grundmann (outside hitter, Winnipeg, MB) and Jordan Foot (middle, Prince George, BC).