Volleyball teams pounced on by Bears and Pandas

TRU's Tim Edge up over the net at this weekend's games. (TRU Athletics)

TRU’s Tim Edge up over the net at this weekend’s games. (TRU Athletics)

The visiting men’s and women’s teams from the University of Alberta (the Golden Bears and Pandas respectively) made the WolfPack volleyball teams’ opening weekend a tough one, with both losing to the University of Alberta.

The start of the season for the men was a tough one: the visiting Golden Bears are ranked number one in the U Sports (formerly CIS) top 10. The men lost 3-0 in sets, but managed to keep the game somewhat close, losing 25-23, 25-16 and 25-15.

TRU’s Tim Edge had seven kills in 16 chances, an ace serve and one dig. Daniel Eikland Rod had six kills in 21 swings, an ace seven digs.

“I think we knew that our middles would be a strong offensive force. I thought Tim (Edge, 3rd year, outside hitter, Langley, BC) did a good job, especially in that last set. He was our only pulse. He does a good job of understanding who he is as a player,” said Mike Hawkins, TRU’s interim head coach.

In their second game, the men kept it even tighter, going 3-1 in sets in Saturday’s game against the Golden Bears. They went 25-18, 18-25, 25-17 and 27-25.

Tim Edge topped the scoring once again, delivering 11 kills in 25 chances with a dig and a block assist.

“After the way things went last night, it would have been really easy to come into tonight and expect the same result. For a young team we showed a lot of resolve. Even though they jumped on us in the first set, we did a great job bouncing back. It was a pretty good brawl,” Hawkins said.

The women were up against a similar challenge: the Pandas are ranked number two in U Sports. Unfortunately, the women saw similar results, too, losing 3-2 in their first game and 3-0 in their second.

On Friday’s game, the women came out swinging with a strong first set, winning it 25-13, but the Pandas came back to win the next two 25-19 and 25-18. The third was the closest bout of the night, with TRU losing 24-26. The tiebreaker set went to the Pandas, 16-14.

“They came back like we knew they would in the second and the third. In the fourth, we did a good job pushing back. They had a lead and could have closed out the match but we scored a couple of big points. We let it go in the fifth,” said Chad Grimm, head coach for TRU.

In their second game, the women came out strong again but let it slip away. They lost their first set 25-23, their second 25-11 and their third 25-12.

“There is going to be some ups and downs. Obviously last night was a difficult one. We had hoped that we could regroup and let that go. We did for the first set and then after that we kind of lost it,” Grimm said.

The women are back in action on Friday, Nov. 4 to face the Brandon University Bobcats in Brandon, Man, in back-to-back games.