By Larry Read
TRU Sports Information Officetr
KAMLOOPS, BC: It could have been the large crowd, it could have been the Kamloops Rube Band. But most likely it was their character which helped the Thompson Rivers University WolfPack men's volleyball team win their Canada West home opener. The Pack beat the defending U SPORTS champion UBC Thunderbirds 3-1 on Friday night (Oct 26) at the Warner Rentals Court at the Tournament Capital Centre.
The Pack rallied from a 1-0 deficit to win the match 19-25,25-18,28-26,25-14. TRU moves to 2-1 on the year while the Thunderbirds are winless in three starts.
TRU was led offensively for the third straight match by Canada West 2nd team all-star Tim Dobbert. He had 12 kills. Jordan Deschane and James Takkan had seven kills each for UBC.
Lots of sub plots to this one. The major one being that both UBC interim head coach Mike Hawkins and his assistant Matt Krueger are former WolfPack players and assistant coaches. Hawkins filled in as interim head coach two seasons ago when Pat Hennelly was on sabbatical. Both Hawkins and Krueger were honored along with other TRU alumni as the Pack unveiled their 'Wall of Fame'. Others enshrined included Gord Perrin (currently captain of the National Team), current WolfPack women's head coach and assistant coaches Chad Grimm and Behlul Yavasgel, current men's assistant coach Drew Venables and Colin Carson.
This match was the first ever between Hawkins and Hennelly as head coaches.
The WolfPack were spurred on by that pre match ceremony. They jumped out to an 8-4 lead in the first set, thanks in part to four service aces from setter Anton Napolitano (3rd year, Victoria, Australia). But the T-Birds took advantage of some TRU errors and went into the first tech time out up 16-13 and went onto to a 25-19 win. Joel Regehr led the way offensively with four kills in five swings.
In the second set, The WolfPack put together play that was more consistent and led 16-13 after the first tech timeout. They rolled to a 25-18 win thanks to Tim Dobbert (5th year, outside hitter, Aichelberg, Germany) who had six kills.
The third set began with the TRU bench going wide when the dominative Issac Smit (5th year, Kelowna, BC) got a big kill playing in the front row. The Pack won the first four points causing UBC coach Hawkins to call the time out. UBC wound up making four straight service errors to put them down 12-7. UBC cut the deficit to 15-11 before the Pack got the point to go into the break up by five (16-11). After TRU had a 24-18 lead, The Thunderbirds clawed back only to fall short 28-26.
The fourth set saw the teams battle again, TRU made it to 16 first thanks to a kill along the right sideline by Sam Taylor Parks (4th year, middle, Kelowna, BC). They continued that momentum as they went onto take the set 25-14 and the match 3-1.
Scores by sets:
TRU 19 25 28 25 --3
UBC 25 18 26 14 --1
James Takken: 7 kills on 15 swings
Jordan Deshane 7 kills on 11 chances, 2 digs
Joel Regehr:6 kills on 14 opportunities, 3 service aces
Zec Johnson: 19 assists, 6 service aces, 8 digs
Tim Dobbert:12 kills on 38 opportunities, 4 assists, 5 digs,
Sam Taylor Parks: 8 kills on 10 chances, 3 digs, 1 solo block, 6 block assists
Charlie Bringloe:7 kills on 22 chances, 4 assists, 5 digs, 1 solo block, 2 block assists
Anton Napolitano: 23 assists, 7 service aces 7 digs,, 2 block assists.
TRU 2-1 UBC: 0-3
THEY SAID IT (Post Match Quotes):
TRU head coach Pat Hennelly:
On the match: " Honestly this was very similar to Calgary. We got the lead, stood around and made some mistakes. The third set, we were in cruise control and then went into panic mode at the end. Credit to the guys out there. They were able to squeak that third set out. We went back into cruise control in the fourth set. I thought the guys did a good job of battling emotions. What comes with a big crowd is expectations. I think the guys showed some maturity tonight."
Praises the middle: "We have Kyle (Behiels) at 6'9" and Sam (Taylor Parks) at 6'8" and that's an advantage across the country. We have been getting on Anton (setter,Napolitano) to find a way to get some points. He did a really good job tonight."
Coaches Video Post Game Interview: click here
TRU Middle Kyle Behiels (4th year, Edmonton, AB):
Whats going well: "Our team just wanted it more. We are responding better to pressure."
Commenting on play of the middles: " Yah Sam started it off with some solid kills. We made the other middles look at us which opened Charlie for a couple of bombs."
On this game: " I am extremely proud of our team. A couple of weekends ago if that would have happened (lose the first set), we would have folded. It was good to see the guys pick it up and do something with it."
Behiels post match Interview: click here
Mike Hawkins (UBC Interim head coach):
On Coming back here: " I think coming back here last year with UBCO took some of the "sting and weirdness' coming back here. I think for Matt Krueger (T-Birds assistant coach and TRU Alum) it was likely a little strange. It was nice we could come back here for alumni weekend to see people like Spenny (Spencer Reed) and Shoebel honoured was nice."
On coaching against Pat Hennelly: " It was a little weird hearing him barking from the other side of the court. Credit to them, they played a good game. They battled through what I thought was tough serving from our side. Dobbert did a good job battling out of system. Charlie (Bringloe) did as well. I loved their energy.:
On winning first set: " We understood how our tactics and style of play would influence what they do. I thought our block defence did a good job in the first set holding them at bay. The following three sets they were significantly more efficient out of system than we were."
Coaches Video Post Game Interview: click here
The WolfPack and Thunderbirds will play again tomorrow (Sat Oct 27) in the final match of the weekend series at 6:45 pm on the Warner Rentals Court at the TCC.
The crowd tonight was bolstered by the World Famous "Kamloops Rube Band" who performed during the break. As well, there were a number of high school teams from throughout the province who are in Kamloops for a senior boys volleyball tournament being hosted today and tomorrow by the WolfPack.
OF NOTE: The "TRU Bookstore/McDonalds Leader of the Pack Player of the Match" was: Beheils.