By Larry Read
TRU Sports Information Officer
The Thompson Rivers University WolfPack know the second half of their Canada West men's volleyball schedule is a tough one. And it proved it as they kicked it off this weekend (Jan11-12) against the Mount Royal University Cougars.
After being swept in straight sets on Saturday by the Cougars, the Pack took Mount Royal to a full five games before losing 3-2. The scores were 25-27,30-28,23-25,25-15,, 16-14.
Mount Royal moves to 11-3 on the year while the WolfPack fall to 7-5.
Tyler Schmidt (5th year, outside, Calgary, AB) led the way for Mount Royal with 24 kills. Schmidt had 31 kills on the weekend giving him 1,415 kills. That moves him into the second spot all time in Canada West kills ahead of former Manitoba Bison Adam DeJonckheeere (1394). The leader is former WolfPack star Brad Gunter (Courtenay, BC) who has 1,476.
The top offensive threat for the WolfPack in this match was Tim Dobbert (5th year, outside hitter, Aichelberg Germany). He had 25.
The WolfPack and Cougars battled right from the opening serve in the first set. The Pack took the first set as they got 4 kills in 14 swings from Dobbert . Anton Napolitano (3rd year, setter, Victoria, AUS) had 10 assists while Mount Royal was led by Schmidt . He had four kills in nine swings.
Schmidt and Dobbert entered the match as the top two kills leaders in the Canada West. They remain in that spot after the weekend with 251 and 220 kills respectively.
The second set was another battle with the Cougars reaching the tech time out first leading 16-11. The Pack battled back and tied the match at 23 thanks to a service error from Kyle Behiels (4th year, middle, Edmonton, AB). But this set went extra points as well, Mount Royal winning 30-28 as Dobbert smashed the ball into the net for the deciding point. Schmidt had five kills in that set for the Cougars.
The Cougars continued that momentum into the third set and reached the time out up 16-10 on the Pack. Charlie Bringloe (4th year, outside hitter, Waterloo, ON) 12 th point of the match—a kill-tied things up at 17. The WolfPack took the third set as it was the Cougars turn to serve into the net to end the period. Dobbert had six kills for Thompson Rivers while Schmidt had five for Mount Royal.
Mount Royal clearly controlled the fourth set and rolled to a ten point victory setting up a fifth set.
In the 'race to 15', TRU got a couple of big kills early from Beheils to lead 4-2. The Cougars tied it up at five which prompted WolfPack head coach Pat Hennelly to call a time out to regroup That cued back to back points from Bringloe including a service ace to take TRU to the eight point switch up by two (8-6). Mount Royal take a 13-12 lead into a time out to try and squash the momentum of two TRU points and would win the final set 17-15 to sweep the weekend.
THEY SAID IT (Post Matc Quotes):
TRU head coach Pat Hennelly:
On the match:
"We battled better tonight and had better execution. Certainly it was one of Charlies (Bringloe) better weekends in terms of ball control. He did a great job in terms of passing. In fact they stopped serving to him at the end. We just couldn't execute from the service line tonight. It was our strength in the first semester but not this weekend."
On Tyler Schmidt approaching Brad Gunter's All time Canada West kills record: " Very similar career tp Brad. Early in their careers, we had to rely on Brad a lot and so did they with Tyler. He was Canada West Rookie of the year in his first year. I am not surprised at all. He has consistently put up big numbers. Even this weekend, he had 30 kills. Barring an injury, he will break that record. You have to play five years to get this record. Brad was injured for a whole year. You have to play all five years and put up tremendous numbers. It could be 20 years before this record is broken again.
Coaches Video Post Game Interview: click here
Mount Royal head coach Shawn Sky (15th season):
"This one was a lot closer and that's what we expected. They came out and battled and fought. Both teams at times were pulling teeth, but it was more what we expected. I liked how gritty we were. We certainly weren't clean and were fighting ourselves. :
On Tyler Schmidt reaching all-time kills record: " That is something (Schmidt approaching Gunter's record). Brad is a great player and Tyler is along those lines. He is tremendous. He is a better person than he is a player in my opinion. He is a tremendous teammate and plays with a lot of great passion."
Coaches Video Post Game Interview: click here
Mount Royal outside hitter Tyler Schmidt:
On approaching the record: " It's just another accolade. It is not my goal to be the all time kills leader. Its exciting but the team goals are more important. I remember playing against Brad in my first year and he was not a fun player to play against."
Schmidt's Post Game Interview: click here
The WolfPack and Cougars will both be on the road next weekend in Canada West play. Thompson Rivers will face the Trinity Western University Spartans in Langley, BC while the Cougars take on the MacEwan University Griffins in Edmonton, AB. All matches will be webcast on Canada West television. It is a pay-per-view service.
Next home match for the WolfPack will be Friday, February 1st when the Brandon University Bobcats make a stop over in Kamloops. Match time is 6:45 pm.
OF NOTE: The "TRU Bookstore/McDonalds Leader of the Pack Player of the Match" was: Bringloe