Posted on: January 10, 2018
Another weekend with ‘playoff implications’ for the Thompson Rivers University WolfPack women’s volleyball team. After splitting last week (Jan 5-6) in Calgary against Mount Royal, Chad Grimm takes his ‘Pack into Regina to meet up with the Cougars.
Both teams have 6-8 records going into this weekend. This is the conclusion of a four match road trip for the WolfPack.
They will return home for the first time in 2018 for matches January 19-20 against the University of Saskatchewan Huskies.
Date: Friday, January 12/Saturday January 13 Time: 730 pm/5:30 pm CDT
Location: Centre for Kinesiology, Health and Sport, University of Regina, Regina, SK
TRU Record: 6-8 (tied for 8 th in CW) Last 5 Matches: 2-3 (Pack are 3-5 on the road this season)
Regina Record: 6-8 (tied for 8 th in CW) Last 5 Matches: 2-3 (Cougars are 3-3 at home this season)
Important Game Notes:
Yevgeniya Nyukhalova (1st year, outside hitter, Severodontsk, Ukraine) leads the Canada West in kills with 231 and kills per set (4.28). Kendra Finch (3rd year, outside hitter, North Vancouver, BC) is third in Canada West in digs (212) and fifth in digs per set (3.85).
Regina is led by fourth year libero Taylor Ungar (Saskatoon, SK) who is third in the Canada West in digs per set (4.05). Satormi Togawa (2nd year, setter, Uji, Japan) is third in the league in assists per set (9.17)
The Cougars participated in their own New Year’s classic tournament where they lost three matches: to Alberta, Mount Royal and Dalhousie
Thoughts from WolfPack head coach Chad Grimm:
1. How are you going to try and carry the momentum of Saturday’s victory at Mount Royal into this weekend against the Cougars in Regina? “We just need to be consistent with our level of play and that is going to mean that our focus and discipline, along with our level of engagement on every point will need to be sharp in order for us to be successful.”
2. Again this week, this matchup has playoff implications. How did you feel your team dealt with that pressure last week? “We try to approach every game in the same manner knowing that from game number one to twenty four is going to have playoff implications in our league. Last weekend in Mount Royal was no different and certainly this weekend in Regina will have a huge impact on the playoff race as well.”
3. How does Regina compare to the WolfPack? “Regina has been a solid team all year and have played consistently tough against all of their opponents. We need to be prepared for a battle as I know they will make their gym a tough place to be successful. Similar to us they rely quite a bit on their outside hitters and their setter does a good job of moving the ball around and they have one of the top liberos in the conference for sure.”
4. With Jane Nyukhalova leading the Canada West in kills and kills per set, have you noticed the opposition keying in on her similar to when Iuliia Pakhomenko was with TRU ? “Jane is obviously a huge part of our offence but I think with Rachel Windhorst (4th year, outside hitter, Surrey, BC) scoring the ball well and both of them being able to hit well out of the pipe makes it a bit more difficult for teams to release like they did on Iuliia. I think Mikayla (Funk, 2nd year, outside hitter, South Surrey, BC) is starting to find her groove again and can provide a big third weapon on the wing for us as well.”
5. How is she handling the attention? “Jane has a pretty easy going personality and has also played in big matches before so I don’t think her handling any sort of perceived pressure will be an issue.”
6. How has having Rachel Windhorst on the court at the same time helping your offense contend? “Rachel is a competitor and can score the ball for us and with her and Jane both firing on the left side makes it tougher for the opponents for sure to just key on one hitter. Rachel also adds another dimension to our offence as well however as she has been really stable in reception for us which allows us to expand our offensive options.”
7. What area of your team’s play are you most proud of these days? “I think on Saturday we didn’t get off to the start we wanted but were resilient and were able to turn things around emotionally. I also think that we did a better job of playing the game and making solid volleyball choices by trusting our instincts which was great to see.”
If you can’t make the game/match: watch online (pay per view) at www.canadawesttv.ca
Home game/match highlights will be available by logging onto www.gowolfpack.tru.ca