WBB: WolfPack hold on to beat Bobcats in 5

WBB: WolfPack hold on to beat Bobcats in 5

By Larry Read

TRU Sports Information Officer


KAMLOOPS, BC—The Thompson Rivers University WolfPack women's volleyball returned from their bye week and got lots of action in their first match.   The Pack had to withstand a charging Brandon Bobcat squad to beat them 3-2 at the Tournament Capital Centre on Friday (Feb 1).

The WolfPack are now 9-10 in Canada West play while Brandon falls to 4-17.

Olga Savenchuk led the way for TRU with 20 kills and 11 digs.  Brandon's big gunner was Nikala Majewski had 25 kills and 18 digs.


The teams exchanged points until, tied at 5, the WolfPack went on a 6-0 run to take the 11-6 lead.  Brandon had a run of their own as they scored five straight to cut the deficit to 14-11 before the Pack notched five in a row and won the first set being led by three kills a piece from Kendra Finch (4th year, outside hitter, North Vancouver, BC) and Avery Pottle (3rd year, middle, Uxbridge, ON).   Brandon's top scorers were Danielle Larocque (3rd year middle, Brandon, MB) and Nikala Majewski (5th year, left side, Winnipeg, MB).

The second set saw TRU score the first seven points but Brandon rallied.  Still TRU was first to get to the 16 point tech time out first (16-9). The WolfPack were able to pass the ball better than Brandon en route to the seven point victory. Majewski had four kills for the Bobcats in that second frame while TRU was led by Finch with four.

Brandon started to mount a comeback in the third set as Majoewski had 10 kills in that frame and had a 60 percent attack percent to TRU's 54.

Going to a fourth set, TRU jumped out to a 3-0 lead but the Bobcats rallied to cut the margin to one (7-6).  The Bobcats kept chipping away at the WolfPack and tied things at 13 and went into the technical time out 16-14 as they scored five in a row to reach that point total.  The resilient Bobcats came back to win the set 25-22 and square the match at two, forcing a fifth set.

In that set, the teams traded points until TRU got two in a row, one on a service ace by Gabriella Podloski (3rd year, outside hitter, Grande Prairie, AB) to lead 8-6 as they switched sides.  Brandon clawed back and tied things at nine. Later, tied at 13, TRU's Morgan Rigelhoff (4th year, outside hitter, St. Albert, AB) came in and dished out a service ace to give the Pack a 14-13 advantage.  Brandon's double block on Olga Savenchuk (1st year, outside hitter,Donetsk, Ukraine) deadlocked the score again at 14. That led them get the next point forcing TRU head coach Chad Grimm to call a time out. The teams scrapped it out again until TRU won the last set 17-15.


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THEY SAID IT (post match quotes):

TRU head coach Chad Grimm:

On the match:  "We started well and that was good thing. We kind of went on cruise control in the middle of the third set a little bit. We back peddled. We served it too easy down the stretch and they passed the ball well. They started to dig  it up in the fourth and fifth set and they defended really well. We have to do a better job tomorrow and not start to tip."



Brandon coach Lee Carter ( season):

On match: "I was proud with our bounce back today. The girls found a way to get it done. Unfortunately we fell short but it was a good match."




The teams will square off one final time this weekend tomorrow (Feb 2).  They do battle at 5 pm PDT on the champ court at the Tournament Capital Centre. 

The WolfPack close out the home portion of their 2018-19 Canada West season next weekend (Feb 8-9) against the University of Saskatchewan Huskies.  The two matches will be played at the old TRU gym because of a scheduling conflict at the TCC.   Friday night is "Retro night" where championship teams from the Cariboo College/University College of the Cariboo era's will be honored.

The weekend also marks the return of former TRU assistant coach Nathan Bennett to Kamloops and the school.  Bennett left this summer to pursue his lifelong dream to coach a Canada West volleyball program.  He is now guiding the Saskatchewan men's program.

Tomorrow's match will be webcast on www.Canadawesttv beginning with the pregame show at 4:50 pm .


OF NOTE:   The "TRU Bookstore/McDonalds Leader of the Pack Player of the Match" was  Podloski .   This match was also a Volleyball BC promotion where members got into the Tournament Capital Centre for 50 per cent off.  The same promotion will run tomorrow at the Bobcat/WolfPack match.