Volleyball back at home this weekend

The 'Pack's Kevin Tillie cuts one around the block during a home game earlier this year. PHOTO BY HUGO YUEN

Mike Davies– Sports Editor:

The WolfPack volleyball teams traveled to Brandon this past weekend to take on two tough Bobcats squads.

The men’s team was looking for a win against one of their main rivals in the league while the women’s team was still looking for their first victory of the season. Both teams were in tough against a Bobcat teams ranked sixth and seventh in the nation for men’s and women’s respectively.

While both WolfPack teams lost their first matches of the weekend on Friday night, there were positives to be taken away.

“We executed well,” said WolfPack women’s head coach Keith Lundgren, “but after a good execution we had a hard time keeping momentum. As we grow, we will play calmer and be able to think better.”

Lundgren added that his team was starting to wipe off the opposition’s block better than they have thus far in the season, having 14 kills in the second set of the match.

The men’s teams played a hard fought match that they lost in four sets by scores of 33-31, 28-26, 28-30, and 25-20.

“I am happy with the effort and playing in this gym is especially tough with the travel,” said head coach Pat Hennelly.  “I am proud of the guys and we went to extra points in the first three sets.”

Kevin Tillie again led the ‘Pack’s presence on the court, contributing 28 kills in the match.

The team fell again on Saturday night, but put up another good fight.

“It was another great match for our guys,” said Hennelly.  “We came here and competed and I am proud of the effort the guys put forth. We talked about how this is the start of playoff intensity and the guys really responded.”

Down two sets to none to open the match, the ‘Pack game back and made a game of it taking Brandon to a full five sets.

The women’s team was swept in Brandon, as well, falling in three sets again Saturday night.

“We averaged 11 kills per game which is standard for us,” said Lundgren. “Our defence still struggled with 8 digs per game. We had great energy in the first set, especially coming from behind.”

The ‘Pack was led by Anna Dyakiewicz who had 11 kills in 23 opportunities and added 7 digs. Amanda Frayne also had a good match with 7 kills in 21 chances and 6 digs.

Rookie setter Kara Twomey had 31 assists and 9 digs.

The WolfPack return home to host the Saskatchewan Huskies on Jan. 21 and 22.  That is a McDonald’s weekend which will include McDonald’s swag being handed out to fans, along with a special two for one Big Mac coupon on every ticket.  Match time on Friday, Jan. 21 for the men is 6 p.m. with the women’s game to follow at 7:45 p.m.