TRU teams setting new marks early

Mark Hunter / Kamloops Daily News
November 10, 2011 01:00 AM

Two weeks into the Canada West season, and the TRU WolfPack varsity teams are doing things they've rarely done before.

Heading into the weekend, the WolfPack men's and women's volleyball teams are 1-3, while the women's basketball team is 2-0 and the men's hoopsters are 1-1.

Since the WolfPack joined Canada West in 2005-06, it's the earlier point at which all four varsity teams had won games.

That probably says more about the team's struggles in its first seasons in the CIS, but WolfPack athletic director Ken Olynyk is pleased with the starts.

"The coaches have done a great job in recruiting, and we're getting some great support from the community," Olynyk said Saturday. "The guys and girls are excited and they feel they can win - that's the biggest factor."
When the WolfPack won both home basketball games against the Fraser Valley Cascades on Saturday, it was only the fourth time in the program's history - and first since Jan. 9, 2010 - that the basketball teams had won on the same night.

That came exactly a week after the volleyball teams did the same thing against the Calgary Dinos, only the sixth time that has happened.

There never has been an ocasion when all four WolfPack teams have won regular-season games on the same night, although it happened during the exhibition season, on Oct. 14.

* * *

The WolfPack will open the Canadian Colleges Athletic Association women's soccer championship today in Quebec City.

TRU is to take on the Atlantic-champion King's Blue Devils today, before playing the host F.X. Garneau Elans on Friday.

The Elans beat the Blue Devils 3-0 on Wednesday in the tournament opener.

* * *

The CIS rankings came out Tuesday, and two WolfPack teams earned mentions.

The men's volleyball team remains at No. 8 after losing twice to the No. 2 Alberta Golden Bears in Edmonton on the weekend. Eight of the top-10 teams are from Canada West, including the No. 1 Trinity Western Spartans.

The women's basketball team, meanwhile, has received votes for the first time this season. TRU earned 37 points in the coaches poll, leaving it 12th overall.

Interestingly, the only other non-top 10 team to receive more votes than the WolfPack is Fraser Valley (46 points), which TRU swept on the weekend.

* * *

All four WolfPack varsity teams are on the road this weekend.

The volleyball squads are in Regina for two matches apiece. They return home for matches against the Manitoba Bisons on Nov. 18-19.

The basketball teams will do a short tour of Southern Alberta, playing Friday in Calgary and Saturday in Lethbridge. TRU will head to Victoria for games against the Vikes on Nov. 18-19, before playing home games against Brandon and Regina on Nov. 25-26.

* * *

Thom Gillespie, who served as interim head coach of the WolfPack men's basketball team for two seasons, has been named interim head coach of the Cape Breton Capers of Atlantic University Sport.

Gillespie was interim head coach of the WolfPack from 2008-10, before the WolfPack hired Scott Clark on a full-time basis. Gillespie was a two-time AUS coach of the year (2002 and 2004) with the New Brunswick Varsity Reds.

He takes over the Cape Breton job from Jim Charters, who stepped down in late October. Gillespie was an assistant with the Dalhousie Tigers in 2010-11, but was living in Peachland when the Capers job came open.

* * *

The WolfPack hockey team, which tied the visiting Okanagan College Coyotes 4-4 on Saturday, is off this weekend.

TRU is 2-3-1 in B.C. Intercollegiate Hockey League play, and will return to game action on Nov. 18 and 19, when Victoria visits Memorial Arena.

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