When there wasn't anyone else for TRU WolfPack men's volleyball head coach Pat Hennelly to bench, he benched himself.
Even that didn't work, as the WolfPack lost its sixth straight Canada West match, this one in four sets (25-15, 25-18, 24-26, 25-17) to the Manitoba Bisons at the Tournament Capital Centre on Saturday night. Manitoba is 8-0 and leads the conference, while the WolfPack is 1-7 and in a three-way tie for ninth in the 11-team conference.
Chad Grimm, normally Hennelly's first assistant, served as head coach Saturday, with Hennelly playing assistant.
Hennelly said he gave himself "a demotion" after he "kind of lost my temper" in Friday's five-set loss to the Bisons.
"I'm not above the guys on the team," Hennelly added. "We change the starting line-up all the time, and I just thought it was time for a change."
The change didn't create the desired spark, as the WolfPack was terrible in the first two sets, hitting a combined minus-6 per cent. That means for every 100 swings the WolfPack would take, TRU would make six more errors than points.
TRU was a little better in the third set, but struggled in the fourth and ended the match hitting seven per cent. Manitoba, on the other hand, hit 30 per cent.
"I have to give credit to (left side) Chris Voth and Manitoba for coming back in the fourth," Hennelly said. "I'm proud of the fact we didn't walk off the court and we fought, and we've struggled with that a little."
Brad Gunter had 16 kills to lead the WolfPack, and Chris Osborne ended with 13. Colin Carson came into the match in the second set and ended with 30 set assists and three kills.
In reality, the only WolfPack athletes who were on top of their games at the TCC were the TRU baseball players, who were relentless in their heckling of Bisons players.
Among their favourite targets were Konrad Korkowski, whose Movember moustache has him looking like a Russian Freddie Mercury, Carson Kauernhowen, who was solid in helping on 10 blocks, and Dane Pischke, whose father, Garth, is the Bisons' head coach.
It certainly didn't affect Dane Pischke, who had 10 kills, nor Voth, who ended with 19.
"It kept us awake, to be honest," said Voth, a fourth-year recreation management student from Winnipeg. "Sometimes, playing at home, you get lulled to sleep because you don't have fans. To come to an away gym and the fans are beaking us, I just love it. I thrive on it."
The WolfPack is scheduled to head to Winnipeg to play the Wesmen (1-7) on Friday and Saturday.
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WOMEN'S VOLLEYBALL:TRU wasn't any better than its male counterpart, losing in three sets (25-18, 25-19, 25-15) to the Bisons.
The WolfPack (3-5) will play the Wesmen (6-2) in Winnipeg on Friday and Saturday.
Manitoba (6-2) dominated from the get-go as the WolfPack came out flat. TRU only managed 26 kills, while Manitoba's Kristi Hunter had 18 kills on her own.
Amanda Frayne and Kelly Asleson each had five kills in the loss.
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WOMEN'S BASKETBALL:The WolfPack lost its fourth straight game Saturday, 96-88 to the host Victoria Vikes. TRU (2-4) is at home to the Brandon Bobcats on Friday.
Diane Schuetze had 26 points and 17 rebounds to lead the WolfPack, and Jen Ju had 19 points. Kaitlyn Widsten added 13 points.
Five Victoria players hit double-digits in points: Chelsea McMullen, with 18, Jenny Lewis with 17 and Jessica Renfrew, Deborah Yeboah and Natalie Janssens, with 10 apiece.
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MEN'S BASKETBALL:The WolfPack is 2-4 after losing 84-76 in Victoria on Saturday.
TRU got 25 points from Justin King, 16 from Kevin Pribilsky and 11 from Akeem Pierre. Ryan McKinnon had 25 points to lead Victoria, with Michael Acheampong scoring 17, Mike Berg getting 16 and Zac Andrus adding 10.
TRU will take on the visiting Bobcats on Friday at the TCC.
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MEN'S HOCKEY:The WolfPack won a pair of home games over Victoria to improve to 4-3-2 in B.C. Intercollegiate Hockey League action.
TRU beat Victoria 5-3 on Friday. Duncan Schulz, Lucas Daoust, Drew DeFrias, Andrew Fisher and Mick Ludvig scored for the WolfPack. Dennis Pavlina, Chris Lee and Doug Evans scored for Victoria.
On Saturday, the WolfPack won 5-1, with Jassi Sangha scoring twice and Travis Herlein, Daoust and Ludvig singling. Cam McWilliam scored for Victoria.
Shane Mainprize, in his return from a groin injury that kept him out a month, made 24 saves in the victory.
TRU is off to Langley on Saturday for a game with Trinity Western.
© Kamloops Daily News