Posted on: January 17, 2019
Its been a common theme for the Thompson Rivers University WolfPack men’s volleyball team recently: another big weekend in Canada West as they vye for playoff position.
This time around, it’s a trip to Langley, BC and two matches against the second top ranked team in U SPORTS: the Trinity Wester University Spartans.
The Spartans sit in fourth place in the Canada West standings but they have played two fewer matches than the teams that are ahead of them in the standings (Brandon, Mount Royal and Alberta).
The WolfPack are coming off being swept at home against Mount Royal and know that this will be a tough weekend to garner some points.
They will meet Friday and Saturday (Jan 18-19) at the Langley Events Centre.
This is the start of four matches in a row on the road for Pat Hennelly and company. The WolfPack will visit Manitoba next weekend (Jan 25-26).
Date: Fri Jan 18/ Sat Jan 19 Time: 8 PM/7 PM PDT
Location: Langley Events Centre, Langley, BC
TRU record: 7-5 (5th in league) Last 5 matches: 1-4 on road 1-3
Trinity Western record: 9-3 (4th in league) Last 5 matches: 3-2 at home: 3-1
Important Game Notes:
The Spartans are coming off a bye week. They were swept in a pair of straight set decisions to open 2019 off in Brandon (Jan 4-5).
They met in the preseason at the Tournament Capital Centre with the Spartans winning in straight sets the opening night before TRU rebounded to win 3-1 the second (Sept 21-22).
The two teams met to close out the regular season last year with Trinity taking both matches in straight sets. The WolfPack and Spartans then met in the first round of the Canada West playoffs last year. Playing at the Langley Events Centre, Trinity Western won in two straight matches.
The Pack don’t have a home match until February 1st when they entertain the Brandon University Bobcats at the Tournament Capital Centre.
Thoughts from WolfPack head coach Pat Hennelly:
This is another big weekend against a top ranked opponent. TWU always plays tough at home and for us to be successful it will come down to serving and passing again. Both teams have tough servers that can score points so having a consistent first contact when passing is a big key. We did not play our best volleyball this past weekend but we came back Saturday and fought, Charlie and Smit had particularly good weekends and hopefully they can build from that. We knew the second half had some tough matches and this will certainly be one of them. We are looking forward to the challenge.
Players to Watch:
Tim Dobbert (5th year, outside hitter, Aichelberg, Germany): is second in Canada West in kills (220) and kills per set (4.58).
Anton Napolitano (3rd year, setter, Victoria, AUS): second in Canada West in service aces per set (0.58).
Kyle Behiels (4th year, middle, Edmonton, AB): fifth in Canada West in service aces per set (0.48).
Eric Loeppky (3rd year, outside hitter, Steinbach, MB): leads the Canada West in service aces per set (0.65), is third in kills per set (3.90) and hitting percentage (.371).
Jacob Kern (4th year, outside hitter, Edmonton, AB): fourth in Canada West in service aces per set (0.51).
Derek Epp (2nd year, setter, Saskatoon, SK): second in Canada West in assists per set (10.63).
Aaron Boettcher (4th year,middle, Surrey, BC): tied for fourth in Canada West in blocks per set (1.14).
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