By Larry Read
TRU Sports Information Officer
KAMLOOPS, BC—The Thompson Rivers University WolfPack women's volleyball are into the win column for the first time this young Canada West season. The WolfPack, spurred on by a huge crowd on their opening night on the Warner Rentals court beat the UBC Thunderbirds in five sets.
The scores were 21-25, 25-23,16-25,25-21,15-11.
TRU (now 1-2) got 11 kills from Olga Savenchuk and 10 off the arm of Avery Pottle.
UBC (now 0-3) was led by national team member Kiera Van Ryk with 15 kills. Tessa Davis chipped in with 11 kills at the Tournament Capital Centre.
The Thunderbirds jumped out to an early lead in the first set but TRU came back took a 11-7 advantage at one point, causing UBC head coach Doug Reimer to call at time out. The WolfPack were first to 16 leading 16-14 at the time out. The T-Birds led by Keira Van Ryk (2nd year, outside, Surrey, BC) and Tessa Davis (4th year, middle, Surrey, BC) with four kills went on to beat the Pack in the first set 25-21.
In the second set was dominated by UBC. They jumped out to a five point lead and at 13-8, it was Chad Grimm of the WolfPack's turn to call a time out. That spurred on the Pack as they closed the deficit to three (15-12). But the T-Birds took a 16-12 lead into the tech time out. Kendra Finch (4th year, outside hitter, North Vancouver, BC) of TRU came in and served up a pair of aces to cut the UBC lead to 19-18. Reimer called a time out to try and shake the Pack. But Finch came out of the break and dealt a third straight 'ace' to tie the set at 19. Then it was Avery Pottle (3rd year, middle, Uxbridge, ON)'s time to shine. Two key blocks at the net gave TRU a 23-22 advantage and the eventual 25-23 win. Pottle had six kills in that set.
UBC was strong from the service line all match. In the third set especially, their serving propelled them to a 7-1 advantage at one point and coasted to a 16-7 tech time out lead. They rolled to a 25-16 victory. Davis had three kills to lead UBC in the set as did Brynn Pasin (1st year, outside, Delta, BC). Olga Savenchuk (1st year, outside hitter, Donetsk, Ukraine) had six blocks for TRU in the third.
In the fourth set, the teams traded points at the onset. The teams were deadlocked at seven when Hayley McNaught (1st year, middle, Woking, AB) got the block to put TRU up by one (8-7). UBC, though, didn't waiver and picked up the next two points to take a 10-8 lead. UBC clawed back and tied the set at 14. But it was the Pack ahead 16-15 at the tech time out. The Pack went onto tie up the match with a 25-21 victory.
The fifth set saw UBC jump to a 3-0 lead. The third point coming on a block by Jayde Robinson (2nd year, middle, Delta, BC). Two points by Pottle cut the deficit for TRU to 4-2. Two defensive errors by UBC resulted in the WolfPack tying things at 5 before a service ace courtesy of Abby Spratt (3rd year, setter, Calgary, AB) which hit the tape and went in gave the WolfPack a 6-5 lead. Thompson Rivers took an 8-6 advantage into the break. Two TRU rookies: McNaught and Erin Mutch (1st year, outside hitter, Victoria, BC) came up with a service ace and block respectively to give their team a 10-6 advantage prompting UBC to call a time out. It worked as the Thunderbirds notched two straight points before Savenchuk stopped the bleeding with a kill. Two straight blocks by Spratt on Van Ryk gave TRU a 14-11 advantage. The Pack went onto win 15-11 and the match.
TRU 21 25 16 25 15 ---3
UBC 25 23 25 21 11 ---2
Olga Savenchuk: 11 kills in 25 swings, 12 digs, 2 service aces
Avery Pottle: 10 kills in 15 opportunities, 5 digs, 3 blocks, 2 block assists
Abby Spratt: 31 assists, 2 digs, 3 block assists
Kendra Finch: 9 kills in 41 chances, 5 service aces, 11 digs, 1 solo block, 1 block assist
Erin Mutch: 4 kills in 14 swings, 2 service aces, 12 digs, 2 block assists
Hayley McNaught: 1 kill in seven opportunities, 5 block assists
Kiera Van Ryk: 15 kills in 46 swings, 7 digs, 2 block assists
Tessa Davis11 kills in 24 chances, 3 service aces, 4 digs
Olivia Ferlan: 34 assists, 2 service aces, 10 digs, 2 block assists
Victoria Behie: 9 kiils in 21 opportunities, 6 digs
TRU: 1-2 UBC: 0-3
THEY SAID IT (post match quotes):
TRU head coach Chad Grimm:
On match: "We found away. I thought in the first two sets, offensively we played excellent. We didn't make errors. We talked about managing the game. It was just the serve/receive game that was holding us up. When we put pressure on serve we were successful. Our blocking and defense had a chance to take care of business. We forced UBC to go for it sometimes and they made some errors. In the fifth set, it was anyone's game. I am glad we came out on top."
On the play of the middles Avery Pottle and Hailey McNaught: " We know to be successful in this league we need to get some production out of middle. Last weekend, we ran it a whole lot and weren't successful a ton. We need to be able to do that. I thought Abby (Spratt, setter) did a great job of not only using it but using it in critical times where in the past she was a little afraid to do so. It makes it easy to set them when they were successful. Avery had a heck of a game not only offensively but blocking as well. Hats off to her."
COACHES POST GAME VIDEO INTERVIEW: click here
TRU outside hitter Kendra Finch (4th year, North Vancouver, BC):
On the match: " I think at the end of the day we did our job. We stuck to our game plan and it worked out for us. UBC is a very good team. We played to our identity which I am very proud of. This was a huge win with the big crowd. It made us more excited. I have a couple of friends on that team so it is always nice to beat them."
On her performance: " I struggled last weekend making smart decisions. That was my focus tonight. Being a smart attacker. It fared well for me tonight."
UBC head coach Doug Reimer ( season):
On match: "Obviously disappointed. We are making too many errors in certain situations. We could have been out of here 3-0 if we played a little better in the second set. Having said that. I give Thompson Rivers a ton of credit. They outdefended us for sure. They kept balls alive in the second half of the match. They are full value in the end. "
On play of middles: " I think we have a lot of the pieces here. We have to figure out how to put it together more consistently. We have a good group. It will be a good challenge."
COACHES POST GAME VIDEO INTERVIEW: click here
The WolfPack utilized a double libero system with both Hali Drezet (3rd year Prince George, BC) and Katie Ludvig (2nd year, Kamloops, BC) playing that position.
Big crowd on hand for the home opener who were entertained by the action and the world famous "Kamloops Rube Band." The teams will be back at it again tomorrow (Saturday Oct 27) on the Warner Rentals court beginning at 5 pm.
Tomorrow's match will be webcast on www.Canadawesttv beginning with the pregame show at 4:50 pm with
OF NOTE: The "TRU Bookstore/McDonalds Leader of the Pack Player of the Match" was Finch.