Wednesday April 23, 2014

TRU rides momentum to victory

Hugo Yuen

Casey Knight (6) of the TRU WolfPack awaits a smash from Saskatchewan's Braden McLean at the TCC on Saturday.

After coming back from a 2-0 deficit to win Friday's Canada West men's volleyball match over the Saskatchewan Huskies, the TRU WolfPack carried the momentum into its play Saturday.

The 'Pack rolled past the Huskies in three sets (25-22, 25-18, 25-21) at the Tournament Capital Centre. It was the WolfPack's second victory in a row and its third in four matches.

"I think the fact that we were able to come back from a 2-0 set deficit last night really helped," said TRU outside hitter Casey Knight. "It's always in the back of their heads, 'Oh, we had that game. We had that game, we've got to make the push tonight.' We came out with a little bit of energy (tonight), stuck it to them early and won in three straight."

With the pair of victories, TRU is tied for third place in the Canada West conference with a 6-4 record - the team had eight victories in all of 2012-13 and fell short of the playoffs, tied for eighth.

The Huskies are 3-7.

"It's a tight race," WolfPack head coach Pat Hennelly said. "We're one of those teams stuck in the middle and those two wins help take some of the pressure off. And you know, that's a very good Saskatchewan team that beat us twice last year, so that feels good as well."

It was the play of Knight and fellow outside hitter Brad Gunter that propelled the WolfPack to victory Saturday. Gunter had 20 kills in 35 attempts and added eight digs. Knight wasn't far behind with 11 kills in 25 attempts, three digs and three service aces.

"It's getting to be a good one-two punch," Hennelly said. "It was the same in Edmonton (against the Alberta Golden Bears) and it's kind of what we've been waiting for to emerge. We know what we have with Brad and Brad's been excellent throughout the season, he needs some (outside) support, right? It's not a one-man show when a guy like Casey steps up."

Hennelly said that the team has been working with Knight and a radar gun in practice, getting his velocity up. It showed Saturday, as he was one of the WolfPack's best players throughout the match.

"It's feeling great," Knight said, of his season thus far for the WolfPack. "The past couple years, when we've had problems you could feel it throughout the team. . . . Every time we've faced a struggle this season it's been really good, we've been like 'OK, they've made their push, they've made their three points, now we go out and make our five.' "

TRU was strong on the block Saturday as well, with Gunter and middle Jacob Ticarico combining for seven blocks. Setter Colin Carson had two stuff-blocks to go with his 33 assists and Gunter chipped in a single stuff-block.

"We're working hard on making other teams earn points," Hennelly said. "We've worked on that, and our serving, and it's nice to see when you invest in some of these skills, they come around."

Paul Thomson led the way for the Huskies with eight kills. Setter Zak Rempel had 22 assists.

The WolfPack will play its final two games of the first half on the weekend, in Calgary against the Mount Royal Cougars. TRU will return to the Tournament Capital Centre in the new year, Jan. 10, to face the Brandon Bobcats.



t needed 38 minutes 58 seconds to do it, but the WolfPack women's basketball team defeated the University of Lethbridge Pronghorns 66-64 in Saturday's Canada West action.

The WolfPack is now 4-4, while Lethbridge falls to 3-5.

Sarah Malate made a pair of free throws with just two seconds remaining in the game to give the WolfPack the lead. TRU had five players in the double-digits and was led by former Pronghorns forward Kassie Colonna, who had 15 points and six rebounds. Taiysa Worsfold and Malate each had 14 points, while Sydney Williams had 12 and Jorri Duxbury chipped in 11.

TRU will play its final games of the semester against Mount Royal at the TCC on Friday and Saturday.



he WolfPack women's volleyball team lost its second match to the Huskies on Saturday, falling in straight sets at the TCC (25-5, 25-9, 25-21).

TRU is 0-10 on the season, and has lost 32 straight matches. It was Saskatchewan's first weekend sweep in more than a decade.

Brianne Rauch led TRU with six kills in 26 opportunities.

TRU will be on the road to close out the semester on the weekend, facing the Cougars in Calgary.



he WolfPack men's basketball squad gave up 47 points in the second half of its Saturday game against the Lethbridge Pronghorns, falling 90-84.

"We need to play better defense," said WolfPack head coach Scott Clark in a news release. "Second night in a row on the road and we try to outgun the opposition. We can't afford to do that. We need to play good defense in order to win."

Josh Wolfram led the 'Pack with 21 points and five rebounds while Tallon Milne had 15 points and six rebounds. Reese Pribilsky chipped in 13 points, while Ta'Quan Zimmerman had 11.

TRU will be home to Mount Royal on the weekend.



fter falling 5-3 to the Eastern Washington Eagles on Friday, the WolfPack bounced back with a 3-0 victory against the host Eagles on Saturday.

The 'Pack (8-5) is second place in the B.C. Intercollegiate Hockey League with 16 points, two back of the Selkirk College Saints.

Duncan Schulz, Anthony Delong and Kevin Nielsen picked up goals for TRU on Saturday. Stephen Wolff stopped all 29 shots.

On Friday, TRU's goals were scored by Schulz, Josh MacDonald and Tyler Berkholtz. Mark Menicucci made 29 saves in the loss.

The WolfPack will close out the semester by playing host to the University of Victoria Vikes on Friday.

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