Men’s volleyball tries to stay in playoff hunt

Mike Davies– Sports Editor

The only TRU team to be ranked in the top ten in the Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) rankings through the first half of the season is the men’s volleyball team.
“I am proud of the way the guys have taken the responsibility of keeping the program in the CIS top ten,” said head coach Pat Hennelly.
“We have less CIS experience than all of the teams that we have faced. We have pushed the guys hard on the court and in the weight room and they have responded.”
The WolfPack are currently in fifth place in the Canada West (CW) standing with an overall record of 3-5 over the first half of their season.
Led by sophomores Kevin Tillie and Colin Carson, the ‘Pack is still in the hunt for a playoff spot, but has some serious competition coming up in the second half of the season.
With their most important weekends of the second half being played at home at the Tournament Capital Center (TCC) against UBC, Saskatchewan and Winnipeg—teams they “need to beat” in order to make the playoffs, according to Hennelly—the team the team will also be challenged when they take to the road.
The team opens the second half of their CW schedule in Brandon on Jan. 14 and 15.
“Brandon is below .500 but they are a very good team and should be desperate for wins,” said Hennelly.
“They have the reigning CIS Player of the Year in Paul Sanderson and we have a great rivalry with them.”
Their other road trip in the second half of the season is to Calgary to face the defending CIS champions, the Dinos, who are currently ranked as the fourth best team in the nation and have yet to lose this season at a perfect 8-0, losing only four sets in total over those eight games.
“We have had some good offensive production,” said Hennelly reflecting on the first half of the season.
“I think we have improved in every facet of the game from the start of September.”
They will likely need to continue doing so to remain in the hunt for a CW playoff spot.
The Wolfpack’s first CW home game of the new year is on Jan. 21 at the TCC against the Saskatchewan Huskies.