By Larry Read
TRU Sports Information Officer
Kamloops BC: The Thompson Rivers University WolfPack are back to .500 in Canada West women's volleyball. The 'Pack needed a full five sets to dispose of the previously unbeaten Mount Royal University Cougars on Saturday (Nov 12) at the Tournament Capital Centre. The scores were 25-17,22-25,20-25,25-21,15-12.
The WolfPack got a big performance from a number of players in a match that both coaches said was 'rocky'. Iullia Pakhomenko (5th year, outside hitter, Donetsk, Ukraine), the USports and Canada West player of the week had 23 kills in 61 chances with 14 digs, three service aces and two block assists. Mount Royal's top offensive threat was Alex Donaghy (4th year, outside hitter, Sylvan Lake, AB) with 16 kills in 46 swings with 10 digs, five block assists and one service ace.
Iullia Pakhomenko: 23 kills on 61 chances, 3 service aces, 2 assists, 14 digs, 2 block assists
Rachel Windhorst: 16 kills on 39 opportunities, 2 service aces, 19 digs, 2 block assists
Mikayla Funk: 10 kills on 17 swings, 2 service aces, 9 digs, 2 block assists
Abby Spratt: 46 assists, 6 digs, 1 solo block and 4 block assists
Alex Donaghy: 16 kills on 46 chances, 1 assist, 1 service ace, 10 digs, 5 block assists
Taylor Pelland: 12 kills on 43 swings, 3 service aces, 11 digs, 1 block assist
Amy Gordon 41 assists, 12 digs, 4 block assists.
TRU 3-3 Mount Royal 3-1
TRU head coach Chad Grimm:
On Match: " At some points it was really scrambly on both sides. We didn't take care of the ball at times. I thought the first set on both sides had the level of intensity picking up. There were some long scrappy rallies. It was nice to come out on top at the end."
Speaking about Rookies: "At some points we had four first years on the floor. Abby has been doing it for us for most of the year. She is learning to run the offense. Hali came in for us at some pretty important points and got some nice digs. Mikayla—by far her best match—she was a weapon for us, scoring points from the right side and had some nice serves. Avery came in and contributed some nice blocks and brought some nice energy. It was nice to see them come in and contribute."
Spratt is a setter from Calgary, Funk: outside hitter from Surrey, Drezet is libero/setter from Prince George (3 digs in 3 sets), Pottle is a first year middle from Uxbridge, ON. She had 1 kill in five chances with two block assists playing in three sets.
Cougars head coach Sandra Lamb:
On match: "It was an ugly battle. I am sure Chad would agree that it was some pretty ugly volleyball at times. A little disappointed how we came out today. Our passing was atrocious. We couldn't stay in system enough and couldn't find that rhythm. Then that 'hot hand over there', Iullia (Pakhomenko) gets going and the team rallies around her and the next thing you know you are losing."
On the split moving forward: " A split is definitely what we needed. We are coming up against some of the top teams in the country in the next three weekends. There was a lot of positives. I can't say that it was all negative. I hate losing. We have done a lot of good things. We just have to get back to the grinding part of our passing. That is what broke down today. That wins or loses games."
Next weekend (Nov 18-19, the WolfPack will be entertaining the UBC Thunderbirds on the Warner Rentals Court while Mount Royal will be home to the UBCO Heat.
OF NOTE: The "TRU Bookstore/McDonalds Leader of the Pack Player of the Match" were first year players Spratt and Funk.