Posted on: February 14, 2018
The Thompson Rivers University WolfPack women’s volleyball season will come to a close this weekend on home court. The WolfPack (7-15) are facing the Trinity Western University Spartans (13-8) on the Warner Rentals court at the Tournament Capital Centre.
The Spartans sit in fifth spot in the Canada West standings.
Date: Fri Feb 16/Sat Feb 17 Time: 6pm/5 pm PDT
Location: Warner Rentals court, Tournament Capital Centre, Kamloops, BC
TRU Record: 7-15 Last 5 Games: 1-4 (4-7 at home)
Trinity Western: 13-8 Last 5 Games: 1-4 (6-6 on road)
Important Game Notes:
Trinity Western has the top two blockers in the league in Katelyn Devaney (5th year, Port Coquitlam, BC) and Avery Heppell (1st year, Langley, BC). Devaney is averaging 1.57 blocks per set while Heppell is second in the league at1.38 blocks per set.
TRU’s Yevgeniya Nyukhalova (1st year, outside hitter, Severodontsk, Ukraine) is second in Canada West in kills per set (3.78) and Kills (321). Kendra Finch (3rd year, outside hitter, North Vancouver, BC) is third in the league in digs (335) and fourth in digs per set (3.85) while Mikayla Funk (2nd year, outside hitter, South Surrey, BC) is fourth in service aces per set (0.52).
On Friday night, The WolfPack will be honoring the Western Canadian university champion Corryn Brown rink. Saturday night, the Pack will be honoring their three graduating players: Samantha Sonnenberg (Edmonton, AB), Kaitlin Lomas (Ponoka, AB) and Rachel Windhorst (Surrey, BC).
Thoughts from WolfPack head coach Chad Grimm:
1. Thoughts on final weekend of the season. Is it a relief it’s coming to an end?
We will approach this weekend as we do every other weekend and prepare to do our best come Friday evening. I am not sure how it could be called a relief that it is coming to an end as we would like to be playing after this weekend.
2. How do you match up with Trinity Western?
Trinity is a very physical team and are probably the best blocking team in the country so that will pose a challenge. They are still fighting for playoff positioning and for sure would like to host the first round of playoffs so this is an important weekend for them so we will put our best foot forward and compete hard.
3. Could you elaborate on how playing a team like the Spartans will help in the future development of your younger players?
I believe every time you step on the floor, no matter who the opponent, you have a chance to test yourself and get better. When you no longer have a chance to accomplish the goals you set out at the beginning of the season it becomes tougher but that is sport. I would hope all of the returning players seize this opportunity to test themselves as we head towards the off season where they will have a real chance to get stronger and improve.
4. Is it disappointing at all that you aren’t making it into the post season.
Absolutely it is disappointing. I still look at our team and think we have a lot of the ingredients to be a contender. Unfortunately, it didn’t turn out that way for us this year and that is on all of us to find out where things went wrong, how we can improve moving forward, and put in the work necessary in the off season so we find ourselves in a better spot at the end of next season.
5. Who has been the most improved player or players for you in the second half of the season?
I think different players have stepped up in different situations and shown improvement. I think both of our setters have benefitted from having Drew Venables around during the second semester which has helped them make strides. I also think Avery (Pottle, 2nd year, middle, Uxbridge, ON) getting more court time has helped her improve and get a better handle on the things she needs to do in order to be a solid middle for this team as we head into next season.
Coach Grimm on his graduating players:
Samantha Sonnenberg: As a transfer athlete from Lakeland Sam spent 3 years in our program. Although troubled by injuries Sam came back to finish out her fifth year this season and help the team as much as she could and her efforts were appreciated. We wish Sam best of luck in the future.
Rachel Windhorst: Rachel joined our program after two successful seasons at SMU and added a new dimension to our group. Her competitive spirit and ferocious attacking have been great additions to our program and will be missed upon her graduation. I am proud of the strides Rachel made not only on the court, but also in the classroom and wish her most success in the years to come.
Kaitlin Lomas: Kaitlin has been a 5 year starter at TRU and has come a long way in her time with the team. Kaitlin has contributed not only as a player on the court but even more so as a silent leader and someone always willing to put the team first. Kaitlin has been a strong student and involved in many programs outside of athletics and she will be missed by the entire TRU community. Best of luck to Kaitlin in reaching her goals upon graduation