Nathan Crosby, Sports Editor Ω
The WolfPack played its best games of the season last weekend, beating the Brandon Bobcats twice and improving to 6-10 to put the pressure on Calgary and Brandon for the final playoff spot.
TRU sits two games back of seventh-place Brandon and this critical matchup between these rivals couldn’t have gone better for the ‘Pack.
Coming into the weekend, TRU had only won one of its last eight and Brandon was winner of six straight.
The first game on Jan. 20 ended faster than it took the teams to warm up, as the WolfPack laid the beat down on the Bobcats in three straight sets, 25-13, 25-19 and 25-15.
Fifth-year outside hitter Kelly Asleson led the charge with 12 kills in 17 chances, three block assists and two service aces.
“In her fifth year, that’s what we expect from Kelly, that’s what she has to bring and she’s bringing it,” WolfPack head coach Keith Lundgren said.
Brandon couldn’t focus and never got any rhythm going in the short game.
Libero Shanlee McLennan had a tough time with the WolfPack servers; TRU middle Katarina Osadchuk also had two serving aces.
The Bobcats’ defence had problems trying to block the outside, thanks to setter Kara Twomey’s composed distribution to her strikers.
She finished with 35 assists and four digs.
Friday night’s game was as perfect as it can get.
The following night, it was nearly the same result with the ‘Pack winning in four sets, 25-17, 31-29, 16-25 and 25-20.
The Bobcats came out sluggish in the first set and finally got some chemistry in an extended second set that went to 31-29.
The ‘Pack held on, thanks to two key plays by rookie outside hitter Brianne Rauch, who finished with nine kills on 22 attempts.
The WolfPack rookies were one of the most important factors in the two wins. Outside hitter Anne Weiss had a monster weekend, finishing with 15 kills on 34 attempts and four serving aces in the second game.
“We struggled in the third set but we picked it up again with team work and it was fun out there on the court,” Weiss said.
“This is so big when you think of the playoffs and we wanted to get back on the winning track and we did it.”
Coach Lundgren had a big smile on his face following the game and praised Weiss’ performance.
“Anne really stepped up. In her first year for her to be in that situation and be successful, we’re very proud of her,” he said.
When asked if he thought his team believes they can make the post-season, he didn’t hold back.
“You’d have to ask them that question, I’m a believer in them,” Lundgren said.
The team takes on the 0-14 Saskatchewan Huskies this weekend at the TCC and finishes the season on the road facing the 3-11 UBCO Heat.
Calgary, who has played fewer games than TRU and Brandon, sits in sixth and the Bobcats sit in seventh with an 8-8 record.
With bottom-feeder teams on the menu for the ‘Pack, and needing to get into the seventh and final playoff spot, it’s time for the girls to feast on the weaker opponents.