Posted on: February 7, 2018
After having a bye week, the Thompson Rivers University WolfPack gets thrown right into the heat of vying for a playoff spot with only two weekends left in the Canada West women’s volleyball regular season.
The WolfPack face their closest geographical rivals: the University of British Columbia Okanagan Heat in games Thursday (Feb 8) and Saturday (Feb 10). The Heat are the top ranked team in USPORTS heading into this week and have won their last eight matches.
Date: Thurs Feb 8/Sat Feb 10 Time: 6 pm/5 pm PDT
Location: “The Furnace” gym at UBCO, Kelowna, BC/Warner Rentals court, Tournament Capital Centre, Kamloops BC
TRU Record: 7-13 Last 5 Games: 1-4 (4-8 at home)
Opponent: 6-14 Last 5 Games: 5-0 (8-2 on the road)
Important Game Notes:
Despite a bye week, Yevgeniya Nyukhalova (1st year, outside hitter, Severodontsk, Ukraine) still leads the Canada West in kills (310). UBCO’s Sara McCreary (2nd year, setter, Edmonton,AB) leads the Canada West in assists per set (10.33).
These matches will be the final ones in the “President’s Cup” competition between the two schools. TRU has already captured the women’s title after both the WolfPack basketball and soccer teams swept their UBCO opponents. The trophy will be awarded at the TCC on Saturday night. Saturday night is also ‘Donor Appreciation” night and “Ken Olynyk Recognition Night” to honor the former WolfPack Athletics and Recreation director.
Both matches will be shown on a pay-per-view basis on Canada West TV.
Thoughts from WolfPack head coach Chad Grimm:
1. How did the bye week help you ? It gave us a chance to both work hard on some things that we needed to address but it also gave us a chance to have some time off, recover, and get ready both mentally and physically for the end of season push.
2. What did you work on? We didn’t jump a lot but we worked more on working hard away from the ball and getting to our spots quicker as that is an area we can make some gains.
3. What are the keys to beating UBCO? We will need to serve the ball tough to make their middles less of a factor and we will need to play consistent and enjoy the big moments that are bound to happen throughout the match.
4. Do you have to key on any of their players and if so who and why? They are the #1 team in the country for a reason and it is that they have solid players in each position so we will need to do a good job of identifying match ups that will work for us and taking advantage of those.
5. How do you match up with them? They are a very big and physical team so that is a tough match up for almost everyone in our league so what we give up in size we are going to have to gain in reception and defense if we want to give ourselves a chance.
6. Is a playoff spot still within reach? It is still very compact in the middle of the standings so we still have a chance but we will need to win out the last four matches, so that is the goal.
Players to Watch:
Sara McCreary: leads Canada West in assists per set (10.33)
Aidan Lea (3rd year, middle, Kelowna, BC): second in Canada West in hitting per cent (.362)
Erin Drew (5th year, middle, Kelowna, BC): fourth in Canada West in blocks per set (1.22)
Yevgeniya Nyukhalova: leads Canada West in kills (310), second in kills per set (3.97).
Kendra Finch (3rd year, outside hitter, North Vancouver, BC): third in Canada West in digs (308), fourth in digs per set (3.85).
Rachel Windhorst (4th year, outside hitter, Surrey, BC): fourth in Canada West in kills (289), fifth in kills per set (3.57)
Michelle Funk (2nd year, outside hitter, South Surrey, BC): fourth in Canada West in service aces per set (0.55)
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