MVB: Bennetts return spoilt by WolfPack on "Retro Night"

MVB: Bennetts return spoilt by WolfPack on "Retro Night"

By Larry Read

TRU Sports Information Officer


The Thompson Rivers University WolfPack took advantage of a loud, boisterous crowd in a small venue and got back into the winning frame of mind in Canada West men's volleyball play on Friday (Feb 8).

Playing in the old TRU gym, the Pack downed the University of Saskatchewan Huskies 3-1 on "Retro" night.  The scores were  25-19,25-23,18-25,25-16.

TRU moves to 10-9 on the season tied with Calgary for fifth place in the league with three matches to go.  Saskatchewan falls to seventh with a 9-10 record.

Tim Dobbert (5th year, outside hitter, Aichelberg, Germany) led TRU offensively again with 19 kills. He now has 327 kills which is the most in Canada West.

Saskatchewan's offense was led by Dylan Mortenson (2nd year, outside hitter, Swift Current, SK) with 11 kills in 28 opportunities.

The match marked the return of Huskies head coach Nathan Bennett to Kamloops for the first time since he left TRU to take the position in Saskatchewan.


Missed serves in the smaller confines of the TRU gym were a big factor.  Thompson Rivers missed the ball 33 times while Saskatchewan gave away 22 points from bad serves.

The Pack outdug the Huskies 32-29 in the contest.

The WolfPack and Huskies are playing these two matches, which are the final ones at home for Thompson Rivers at the old TRU Gym.

They held a 'retro night' where they paid homage to teams from the Cariboo College/University College of the Cariboo days.

The venue also holds special significance for Bennett. During his time with the WolfPack volleyball programs, he ran the McDonalds/TRU Sports Camps out of the TRU gym.

This match was also shown free on Canada West TV as the "Canada West game of the week."



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THEY SAID IT (Post Match Quotes):

TRU head coach Pat Hennelly:

On the atmosphere:  " We talked to the guys about being loud. It is hard to simulate this. This is actually a good actual test match for the playoffs.  This is what it is like when you go into gyms like Trinity Western, Brandon—lots of noise. Took a while for the guys to get used to it. Thankfully Saskatchewan also had some struggles.  They came out strong in the third.  Props to our guys to come back in the fourth. It wasn't our best volleyball but we managed to get a lot cleaner.  Unfortunately both sides struggled at the service line so it make the match choppy."


Coaches Video Post Game Interview:  click here


Huskies head coach Nathan Bennett (1st year):

On being back :  "I saw a lot of people I haven't seen in a long time. It was nice to be back in this gym. My old office was right there.  It was a good homecoming but the TRU WolfPack weren't very welcoming.  It was a tough night for us. We struggled from the service line and struggled passing.  We started to solidify somethings as it went on. We had a real good weekend a couple of weeks ago against the U of A,  and that is the team I am expecting to see out here tomorrow."

Coaches Video Post Game Interview:  click here



The WolfPack  and Huskies will wrap up the weekend affair on Saturday (Feb 9) at the TRU gym with a 6:45 pm start time.  Thompson Rivers will honor their four graduating players before the match:  Tim Dobbert (Aichelberg, Germany),  Tim Edge (Langley, BC),  Isaac Smit and Cole Hanson  (both Kelowna, BC).