WVB: WolfPack celebrate ' Retro Night" by taking Huskies

WVB: WolfPack celebrate ' Retro Night" by taking Huskies

By Larry Read

TRU Sports Information Officer


The Thompson Rivers University WolfPack women's volleyball team moved above .500 in Canada West play as they dumped the visiting Saskatchewan Huskies 4-1 at the TRU gym on Friday (Feb 8).

The scores were 22-25,25-22,25-22,25-15.

Thompson Rivers moves to 11-10 on the year while Saskatchewan falls to 8-13.

Offensively, TRU was led by Olga Savenchuk (1st year, outside hitter, Donetsk, Ukraine) with 13 kills. Kendra Finch (4th year, outside hitter, North Vancouver, BC) had 12 with Avery Pottle (3rd year, middle, Uxbridge, ON) contributing 11.  Saskatchewan 's main weapon was Emily Koshinsky (3rd year, outside hitter, Jansen, SK) with 16 kills.

This weekend's matches are being played at the old TRU gym because of a scheduling conflict at the TCC.   Friday night was "Retro night" where championship teams from the Cariboo College/University College of the Cariboo era's were honored.

The weekend also marked 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.



The first set saw the WolfPack go on a seven point scoring run and led at the technical time out 16-11. But a key service ace by Huskies setter Jessica Zacharias (2nd year, Caronport, SK) was part of a Saskatchewan comeback where they won the first set.

In the second set, TRU was up but the Huskies battled to tie things up at 20 before a double block by the Pack helped them secure the victory.

The match saw Saskatchewan pick up both a yellow and red card for disputes with officials.

The Huskies had 18 service errors to TRU's 13.



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THEY SAID IT (post match quotes):

TRU head coach Chad Grimm:

On diversification of offense and play of Avery Pottle:  " Avery can hit the ball with a lot of velocity. She is confident in herself which she should be. We trust her in the big moment. She is a 'gamer' and when it gets tight, Avery usually gets better. It is good that we have someone out of the middle of the court and people can just release to Olga, Kendra, Gabby (Podloski), Erin (Mutch)…anyone we have on the outside. It provides some punch in the middle."

On playing at the TRU gym:  " I actually really like playing here. The atmosphere is great. We didn't serve very well here especially early. That hurt us early in the match. We started to string some runs together from the service line which really helped.  I liked our energy. I thought we played well ' in the moment'."



Saskatchewan coach Mark Dodds (4th season):

On match:  "It was a tough match. Kind of got off to a slow start but we found our game and started to play pretty well. We were really inconsistent. Its frustrating because we play at a high level for short spurts and then go to the other end of the spectrum too often. We need to find some consistency to beat teams like this. We did battle back. That has been a trait for us all year. We have been that 'battle back team' but we shouldn't put ourselves in a situation like that"

On the smaller confines of the TRU gym, was it a factor: " I think this is a fun place to play. I think they (the players) enjoyed it. It was likely the loudest gym we played in this year. Great atmosphere. I think if I am an athlete I think this is the environment I would want to play in."




The WolfPack close out the home portion of their 2018-19 Canada West season tomorrow against the Huskies.Tomorrow's match will be webcast on www.Canadawesttv beginning with the pregame show at 4:50 pm .  After the match, they will honor Carly Gunter (Courtney, BC).  Gunter graduated last year before they could honor her four-year contribution to the Thompson Rivers program.  Says coach Grimm about Gunter," Carly was an instrumental part of our program from 2014-2018 as she was a major contributor in helping shift the culture of the program.  Carly exemplified work ethic, organizational skills, dedication and generosity during her time with our team.  Her commitment to the program has been missed but I know with Carly's personality and skill set she will be successful in any endeavour she chooses to seek.  We thank Carly for her dedication and contributions in helping solidify what it means to play for the WolfPack!"