By Larry Read
TRU Sports Information Officer
KAMLOOPS, BC—The Thompson Rivers University WolfPack women's volleyball team shook off some early rust and rallied to take the visiting Brandon Bobcats to five sets in Canada West women's volleyball. The Bobcats won the match 3-2 as the two teams opened up a weekend series on the Warner Rentals Court at the Tournament Capital Centre. The scores Friday (Nov 3) were 26-24,26-24,12-25,17-25,15-13.
It was the first loss of the year for the WolfPack. Brandon moves to 4-1.
The WolfPack lost the first set in a tight one. There was a close call with the teams tied at 24 which went in favor of Brandon. That was followed by Mikayla Funk driving it along the line which was just out. Brandon's Michelle Egger had three service aces in that first set. The lead changed eight times in that initial set.
The Pack went on a 5-0 run in the second set but Brandon rebounded to take the lead 9-7 and gritted out a victory.
Thompson Rivers stormed back in the third set and won it handily. Yevegeniya Nyukhalova had six kills in the set as the Pack only lost the lead once. Coach Chad Grimm switched setters late in the second bringing in Abby Spratt, which seemed to spur the team on.
The fourth set was led by TRU from start to finish. The fifth set saw Brandon jump to a 4-1 lead before the WolfPack rallied to cut deficit to 4-3. With Brandon up 7-6, Rachel Windhorst came up with a key block and kill to send TRU to the switch up 8-7. Pack led 13-10 until Sami Love came up with a big block to cut the deficit to two. The set was tied at 13 when the Bobcats rattled off two straight points to capture the match.
Brandon 26 26 12 17 15 --3
TRU 24 24 25 25 13 --2
Yevgeniya Nyyukalova (1st year, outside hitter, Severodontsk, Ukraine) 20 kills in 58 chances, 2 service aces 20 digs
Rachel Windhorst (4th year,outside hitter, Surrey, BC) 11 kills in 40 swings, 4 assists, 2 service aces,12 digs, 1 solo block, 1 block assist.
Abby Spratt (2nd year, setter, Calgary, AB) 24 assists, 3 kills, 6 digs
Anastasiya Muzyka (1st year setter, Potawa, Ukraine) 14 assists
Kendra Finch (3rd year outside hitter, North Van, BC) 5 kills in 25 opportunities, 4 assists, 6 service aces, 19 digs
Mikayla Funk (2nd year, outside hitter, Surrey, BC) 9 kills in 24 chances, 6 service aces, 6 digs, 1 solo block
Nakala Majewski (4th year, left side,Winnipeg, MB) 15 kills in 49 opportunities, 8 digs
Sami Love (1st year, middle, Dauphin MB) 9 kills in 21 chances, 2 assists, 1 dig, 1 solo block, 4 block assists
Rayvin Weibe (2nd year, left side, Morden, MB) 10 kills in 31 chances, 1 assist, 1 service ace, 10 digs 5 block assists
Caitlin Le (1st year, Mississauga, ON) 23 digs, 2 assists.
TRU: 2-1 Brandon 4-1
TRU head coach Chad Grimm:
Did layoff hurt: "I didn't know if it was the bye week and we had a little bit of fog early on. We found a little bit of grit. It wasn't pretty I don't think. It wasn't great volleyball on either side for most of the match. I liked the fact that we turned up our defensive intensity for sure. But again we didn't get it done."
On changing setters: " I think Abby came in and stabilized things. I thought Anna was struggling a little bit to find her positions and was a little late to the ball and was setting a little tight. "
COACHES POST GAME VIDEO INTERVIEW: here
MacEwan head coach Kevin Neufeld (1st season):
On match: " We were probably outplayed for a large part of the match but we found a way to win. True credit to them, they outplayed us in several areas but we got some breaks along the way and squeaked it out in the fifth."
Who stood out for the Bobcats: " I don't think anyone really did for us. They had a few players who were outstanding. We stayed with it. We didn't play real well in sets three and four and that doesn't often relate to anything in the fifth. We got some nice digs from Nicola and got a big kill to get to 14."
COACHES POST GAME VIDEO INTERVIEW: here
The teams will go at it again tomorrow night (Oct 21) at the Tournament Capital Centre. Match time will be 5 pm.
Tomorrow's match will be webcast on www.Canadawesttv beginning with the pregame show at 4:50 pm with Kendric Carlock, former WolfPack player Katarina Legutky and Dylana Milobar.
OF NOTE: The "TRU Bookstore/McDonalds Leader of the Pack Player of the Match" was: Samantha Sonnenberg (4th year, middle, Edmonton, AB). She played four sets, notching three kills, three digs and had one service ace. " I thought she came in and did a good job," said Grimm. " She was just solid in there. She served well. She made some nice touches on the block. She put them in trouble and made a couple of nice digs. She came in and filled the role very well for us."