Posted on: June 20, 2018
The Thompson Rivers University WolfPack have a marquee opponent when they open up the home portion of the 2018-19 Canada West volleyball season. When the ‘Pack hit the court for the first time in the regular campaign on Friday, October 26th, their opponents will be the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds.
On the men’s side, the Thunderbirds (who feature TRU alum Mike Hawkins and Matt Krueger as their interim head coach and assistant coach) are the defending USPORTS champions. The UBC women captured the bronze medal at the 2017-18 USPORTS Nationals.
The WolfPack women will play UBC at 5 pm on the Warner Rentals court in their home opener. The TRU men will go with UBC at 7 pm. Thompson Rivers has pushed their Friday start times ahead one hour to hopefully entice staff and students to stay on campus to have dinner and cheer them on. The earlier start time also provides some flexibility for parents of younger children who want to attend the matches.
Thompson Rivers opens up the regular season on Friday October 19th and 20th when they pay a visit to the Jack Simpson Gym in Calgary to meet the University of Calgary Dinos.
TRU women’s head coach Chad Grimm on the schedule, “We will have a lighter travel schedule this season which will be nice. We only have one flight after Christmas and that is right away in January so hopefully that will allow us to be in good condition to make a run down the stretch this season.”
WolfPack men’s head coach Pat Hennelly says with the demise of the program at the University of Regina, the schedule results in one less road trip. “We have a lighter travel schedule-to Calgary and Regina in the first half of the season. We get five weeks at home starting against UBC, then host our junior tournament, have a bye, then home to Winnipeg and MacEwan. In all my time here, I don’t think we have had so many home matches in the first half of the year. That is nice for my family and the guys-who can concentrate more on school.”
Looking ahead to the second half of the season, Hennelly says, “ We have bye the first week and will host a tournament (UBC, Calgary and Korean university SKK as the opponents). After that we are away almost every other weekend. This year we have to go to Kelowna twice to play UBCO because we have so many home games. The second half of the year is a great schedule, especially if he have solidified a playoff spot.”
In the past, the WolfPack have played a home and home weekend with their closest geographical rivals (UBCO).
TRU has six matches at home in the first half of the year (UBC, Winnipeg on November 16-17 and MacEwan on Nov 23-24).
During the second half of the season, the ‘Pack will host Mount Royal (Jan 11-12) and Saskatchewan (Feb 8-9).
All of the WolfPack matches (home and away) will be webcast on a pay per view basis on Canada West TV. James Matthews and former WolfPack middle Morgan Kolasa will provide the commentary with Radio NL’s Dylana Milobar returning as the webcast interviewer.