Ben Matchett; Dinos Communications
CALGARY – A sterling performance by fifth-year outside hitter Tim Dobbert led the way as the Thompson Rivers University WolfPack earned a split in their season-opening series against the University of Calgary Dinos Saturday, taking a straight-sets win (26-24, 25-20, 25-22) in the Jack Simpson Gym.
After a 20-kill performance in Friday night's 3-1 Calgary win, the Aichelberg, Germany native put up 18 kills in just three sets to lead the 'Pack to the victory. Both teams sit at 1-1 after the opening weekend.
"It was great for us," said Dobbert's teammate Charlie Bringloe. "We came in and knew the Dinos are a great team and the first game didn't go as well as we wanted to, but to come back in the second and get it was great. We came together, had a big heart-to-heart for about an hour last night, and we felt it today."
Bringloe was effective as well, pounding down 12 kills. The tandem combined for 30 of TRU's 41 kills and 57 of their 77 attempts, with Dobbert hitting 44.1 and Bringloe 34.8 per cent on the evening.
Thompson Rivers had an efficient night offensively, hitting better than 41 per cent as a team and committing just nine errors on the night after the Dinos managed 14.5 team blocks on Friday, leading to 27 WolfPack errors. Indeed, TRU flipped the script at the net Saturday, stuffing the Dinos seven times while Calgary managed just one.
The first set was the tightest, featuring 11 ties, with the WolfPack taking it 26-24. From there, the second featured just three ties and a pair of early lead changes before TRU pulled away, and the third was a wire-to-wire WolfPack win.
Tim Taylor was the Dinos' offensive leader with 12 kills on the night, followed by Mitchell Higgin with six and Hamish Hazelden with five. Setter Blain Cranston led the Dinos with seven digs on the night.
For TRU, Kyle Behiels added five kills behind Dobbert and Bringloe, with Isaac Smit picking up a team-leading seven digs.
The WolfPack will take their 1-1 record back home next week to face the defending U SPORTS champion UBC Thunderbirds at the Tournament Capital Centre. Calgary, meanwhile, will have an extended break: after back-to-back bye weeks, the Dinos will visit Saskatchewan Nov. 9-10 in their next Canada West action.
Photo by David Moll