By Larry Read
TRU Sports Information
KAMLOOPS, BC: It took them five sets, but a win is a win. That's how the Thompson Rivers University WolfPack men's volleyball team is looking at this weekend in Canada West play. The Pack swept the visiting UBC Thunderbirds on Saturday (Oct 27) at the Tournament Capital Centre.
The scores were 25-23, 23-25, 17-25, 25-20,15-13. TRU has won three in a row and moves to 3-1 on the season. The defending USPORTS champion Thunderbirds are still searching for their first win in four outings.
TRU was led by Canada West second team all-star Tim Dobbert with 20 kills in 51 chances. He added a team high eight digs. Charlie Bringloe added 9 kills with Anton Napolitano having 28 assists.
The main offensive weapon for UBC was James Tokken with 16 kills. Danny Aspenlieder contributed 11 kills with Zec Johnson piling up 32 assists and10 dis.
The WolfPack opened up with a strong start. They were the first to the technical time out leading 16-10. But UBC rallied and cut that deficit to 2 (17-15), causing WolfPack head coach Pat Hennelly to call a time out. The Pack seemed to respond and jumped to a 20-16 advantage. But the pesky T-Birds battled back and tied things up at 22. Tim Dobbert (5th year, outside, Aichelberg, Germany) led the way with five kills in nine attempts while Charlie Bringloe (4th year, outside, Waterloo, ON) had three kills in four swings. TRU winning that first set by two (25-23). UBC was led in that set by Danny Aspenlieder (3rd year, outside, Vernon, BC) with four kills in seven attempts.
The Pack jumped out to an early lead but UBC battled back and the teams exchanged points. A double block by UBC propelled them to a 16-14 technical time out lead. After being down 23-16, the WolfPack notched four straight points to cut the deficit to 23-21. UBC bench boss Mike Hawkins tried to change momentum with a time out. It worked and the Thunderbirds came out on top 25-23. Takken had four kills on nine chances to led the UBC offense. TRU's main gunner were again Dobbert and Bringloe with three kills a piece. Dobbert had 8 on 21 swings at this point of the match. Bringloe was six for 14.
Bringloe led the way at the service line for TRU in the third set. He had two service aces in a row to give the WolfPack a 6-6 tie after UBC had the early lead. The T Birds led 16-11 at the time out. After the Thunderbirds went on a roll and took a 19-12 advantage, TRU called a time out. It did no good as Zec Johnson (2nd year, setter, Langley, BC) promptly delivered a service ace, his second of the match. UBC rolled to a 25-17 victory.
The fourth set saw teams trading points from the onset. UBC wound up reaching the technical time out up three, 16-13. It was the WolfPack who wound up taking the set 25-20 thanks to six kills from Dobbert and three kills from middle Kyle Beheils (4th year, Edmonton, AB) .
In the 'race to 15', otherwise known as the fifth set, TRU took an early lead and made it to eight points first (leading 8-6). With the Pack up 12-10, Jordan Deshane's (3rd year, middle, Surrey, BC) saw open space and found the back of the court. That was the start of a mini run which saw UBC take a 13-12 lead. After an attack error by UBC had Thompson Rivers serving for match point, Hawkins called his troops in. But the time out didn't shake the WolfPack, they took the set 15-13 and the match.
Scores by sets:
TRU 25 23 17 25 15 --3
UBC 23 25 25 20 13 --2
James Takken: 16 kills in 34 swings, 2 assists, 1 block assist, 5 digs, 3 block assists
Danny Aspenlieder:11 kills in 30 opportunities, 4 service aces, 10 digs, 1 block assist
Michael Dowhaniuk: 6 kills in 19 chances, 3 assists, 5 digs
Zec Johnson: 32 assists, 10 digs, 3 block assists
Tim Dobbert: 20 kills in 51 swings, 8 digs
Charlie Birngloe: 9 kills in 27 opportunities, 2 service aces, 6 digs
Anton Napolitano:28 assists, 8 digs, 3 service aces, 2 solo blocks, 1 block assist
Sam Taylor Parks: 6 kills in 15 chances, 1 solo block, 2 block assists
TRU 3-1 UBC 0-4
THEY SAID IT (Post Matc Quotes):
TRU head coach Pat Hennelly:
On the match: " UBC got into a nice rhythm in the middle of the game. We got tight. We are still a team that is trying to learn how to win and going through different process. I am really proud of the guys. The fourth set showed a lot of character. Fifth set, we just kept going and stayed focus.
Staying focused in the last two sets was difference: " I think so. Tim Dobbert was a little tired after his performance last night. He started picking it up at the end. Overall, everytime something happened, a different guy would pick it up. I give credit to the guys for really scrapping it out tonight."
Coaches Video Post Game Interview: click here
Mike Hawkins (UBC Interim head coach):
On being swept but going five sets; " I thought we did a good job. I thought TRU played well coming out of the gates. I thought they passed better than they did last night.Obviously, it posed different challenges. We did a good job responding asserting our style of play. To their credit, they came back and did the same to us.
On what his young team learned about themselves? " It is important to get some experience playing in fifth sets in Canada West. It is a different feeling. From that standpoint, it is a valuable lesson to learn. There is a lot of reasons for us to take some positives out of this match even though it might sting right now."
Coaches Video Post Game Interview: click here
The WolfPack have a bye next week while the Thunderbirds will visit the Brandon University Bobcats.
OF NOTE: The "TRU Bookstore/McDonalds Leader of the Pack Player of the Match" was: Isaac Smit (5th year, outside hitter, Kelowna, BC). He was 1 for 11 with two service aces and three digs.
On winning three of four to start the season:" Its all the hard work we have been putting in at the gym in the preseason. We put in a a lot of work, played lots of games, going to Quebec. I think we are doing a great job getting the balls up. We are a big team. Our blocking has been great."
On switching from libero to outside: "Cole Keddie did it last year and it helped out our passing. Pat asked me at the beginning of the season if I was willing to step up into that position. I worked on my passing and defense to help the back row. Obviously, I am a smaller left side hitter . We are making sacrifices to do it. I played left side in high school and club career. I didn't start playing libero until Team BC. I hadn't played it (outside) in four years. I worked on my vertical this summer to get comfortable in that position."