By Larry Read
TRU Sports Information Officer
KAMLOOPS, BC: -The Thompson Rivers University WolfPack and the University of Saskatchewan Huskies leave this weekend the same way they started in Canada West men's volleyball. Both teams entered their series at .500. They remain that way after the Huskies squared their two game affair Saturday night.
Saskatchewan over the WolfPack 3-1. The scores were 25-22,25-23,18-25,25-20. Both teams are 10 and 10.
Dylan Mortenson (2nds year, outside hitter, Swift Current, SK) and Colin Fraser (5th year, outside hitter, Saskatoon, SK) each had double digit kills for Saskatchewan. Mortenson had 15 with Fraser 10.
Tim Dobbert (5th year, outside hitter, Aichelberg, Germany) had 20 kills in a losing cause for TRU.
Before the contest, the WolfPack honored their four graduating players: Dobbert, Tim Edge (Langley, BC), Isaac Smit and Cole Hanson (both Kelowna, BC). All four were named the "TRU Bookstore/McDonalds Leader of the Pack" players of the match-as is tradition at Thompson Rivers for the graduating players.
The match was played for the second straight night at the old TRU Gym due to a scheduling conflict at the Tournament Capital Centre.
The Huskies came out with more intensity than they did on Friday when they lost in four sets to the Pack and had a three point lead early on. But it was the home team who chipped away and had a one point advantage (16-15) at the first tech time out. The Huskies prevailed in the first set thanks to six kills off the arm of Dylan Mortenson (2nd year, outside hitter, Swift Current SK). Dobbert and Charlie Bringloe (4th year, outside hitter, Waterloo, ON) had four kills apiece for TRU.
The second set saw the teams again trade point for point and the Huskies were the ones leading at the tech time out (16-12). Both teams had five service errors and four attack errors in that set. Mortenson added to his kills total with four more in that set while Dobbert added six to give him 10 on the match.
Saskatchewan picked up the pace and capitalized on some listless play by the WolfPack and led 16-9. Thompson Rivers went on a run after the tech time out and scored four straight points to cut the margin to 16-13. Huskies coach Nathan Bennett called a time out in an attempt to stop the bleeding and he was successful as Sask scored the next point. But that was temporary as the Pack scored the next six in a row with the spin serve specialist, Bringloe serving . Finding himself down 18-17, Bennett was forced to call his second time out of the set. That did no good as Bringloe promply served up two straight service aces (the Pack scored eight straight points on that run) to lead 20-17. They took the set 25-18. The Huskies with eight attack errors in that set.
In the fourth set, Sask moved up quickly 5-2. The Pack chipped away at the deficit and whittled it down to 13-11 thanks to a timely service ace from Smit and a kill from middle Kyle Behiels (3rd year, Edmonton, AB). Two attack errors by TRU gave the Huskies a 16-13 advantage at the tech time out. Fraser had two kills in that last set to pace Saskatchewan.
THEY SAID IT (Post Match Quotes):
TRU head coach Pat Hennelly:
On the third set and play of Charlie Bringloe: "I take a lot of criticism from the peanut gallery about Charlie's serve. We told guys we weren't going to worry about misses. Charlie has a high end serve, an international serve. He wants to play volleyball past this (university). We try to look at the big picture and let the guys do their thing. Charlie sure showed up today."
On match: "Sask played a really clean game. Their game plan was to come in and miss way less serve. Their float serve guys were taking something off and make us play the ball. It took a long time for us to get going.. I have to give the credit to Sask. Bennett did a great job of preparing his team for the second night and they made way less errors than we did "
Coaches Video Post Game Interview: click here
Huskies head coach Nathan Bennett (1st year):
On the match: " I thought both teams played better tonight especially from the service line. They went on that big run in that third set. That was quite impressive by Charlie. I think both teams got used to the court and the facility. Both teams did a better job today. It was a must win match for us and everyone pushed themselves to another level."
Coaches Video Post Game Interview: click here
The WolfPack and Huskies will wrap up their Canada West regular seasons next weekend (Feb 15-16). Thompson Rivers will visit their closest geographical rival, the University of British Columbia Okanagan Heat while Saskatchewan will entertain the Mount Royal University Cougars.
The WolfPack and UBCO will close out the 2018-19 President's Cup series between the two schools. Going into the weekend, TRU leads the men's competition after sweeping in basketball and coming away with a win and a draw in soccer. UBCO won the cross country competition.