Monday September 01, 2014






WolfPack women fall to powerhouse T-Birds

On paper, it appeared to be a mismatch.

In reality, it was far worse than that.

The UBC Thunderbirds defeated the TRU WolfPack in three sets (25-10, 25-16, 25-11) in a Canada West women's volleyball match at TRU Gym on Friday. The teams will play again tonight - it's Alumni Night - at TRU Gym. It all begins at 5 o'clock.

Perhaps TRU head coach Keith Lundgren can enlist the help of some of the alumni, as the WolfPack likely will need it against the No. 1 team in the country.

Yes, UBC, with its 14-1 record, is the best of the CIS. TRU, at 0-15, is among the worst.

But still, the WolfPack showed up and played hard, and Lundgren managed to find a positive.

"We're passing well - that's the thing, we're always working on our passing," said Lundgren, ever the optimist.

The WolfPack has only eight players available, while UBC brought enough to Kamloops to field a hockey team. One of TRU's players, Julia Niemczewska, even got sick during the match, but soldiered on.

It was all part of another tough outing for a WolfPack team that has won just one of 46 sets.

"We worked on skills all week and (we came in) trying to work on our thing," Lundgren said. "Right now, we have to figure out how to compete - they still have a tough time being vulnerable and taking risks."

UBC did pretty much everything well, even if it did make 12 service errors. Lisa Barclay led the way with 10 kills, while the aptly named Kirsty Setterlund had 26 set assists and five aces - all in the first set.

Assuming they made it to Kamloops safely, there was no way the T-Birds were going to lose this one. But Setterlund said UBC's players were focused like any other match.

Still, there was some worry of complacency.

"In some ways it's more difficult coming here," said the third-year White Rock native. "It's challenging, but you have to work through it, keep your own pace and try not to make mistakes that you normally wouldn't make.

"You need to focus more . . . in a different way."

The numbers told the story for TRU.

It hit negative 24 per cent - making 14 errors and nine kills on 58 swings - while UBC hit 38 per cent. And nearly a third of the WolfPack's points - 12 of 37 - came on UBC service errors.

Lundgren wants his team to commit more.

"We don't want to swing hard sometimes," he said. "Maybe a big block up there can be intimidating - I understand that; I played too.

"But at the same time, we have to swing hard. We have to go after the ball, we have to hit the floor."

---

The TRU WolfPack women's basketball team's program-record winning streak is now at seven games.

The WolfPack improved to 11-3 in Canada West with a 72-69 overtime victory over the Alberta Pandas in Edmonton on Friday night.

The WolfPack forced overtime in the last second, when Jen Ju hit three free throws to knot things up. Ju led the WolfPack with 19 points.

Tracy Kocs ended with 16 points, while Diane Schuetze had 13 points and nine rebounds. Taiysa Worsfold added 12 points.

Jessilyn Fairbanks and Renee Byrne each scored 13 points to lead the Pandas, who are 7-6.

The WolfPack is to fly into Saskatoon today, where it will play the Saskatchewan Huskies tonight. It is TRU's first time back in Saskatoon since being swept out of the playoffs by the Huskies in February - it was a short end to the WolfPack's first Canada West playoff appearance.

Meanwhile the WolfPack men's basketball team lost 74-55 to the Golden Bears.

The loss snapped a two-game winning streak for the WolfPack, dropping it to 6-8. The Golden Bears now are 11-2.

Zach Usherwood had 10 points to lead the WolfPack, which trailed 12-0 early and 20-10 after a quarter. Kenneth Otieno scored 15 for Alberta.

TRU is to leave this morning for Saskatoon, where it will play the Huskies tonight.


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