Fantastic weekend for women’s volleyball at the TCC

Little Shayne Makortoff joins in for the celebration as TRU WolfPacks men's volleyball kick off their 2011 home opener this past Friday. PHOTO BY HUGO YUEN

Mike Davies–Sports Editor:

 

It was all smiles at the Tournament Capital Center (TCC) this past weekend for the TRU women’s volleyball squad.

The WolfPack put a number in their win column for the first time this season, and that number was 2.

Heading into the weekend’s matches against the University of Saskatchewan, the ‘Pack was 0-10 and in last place in the Canada West Division (CW) of Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS).

Friday night, however, they took down a Huskies team that was just ahead of them in the standings and passed that same team on Saturday.

Coming into the new year, head coach Keith Lundgren really wanted the team to improve on defense over last semester, and Friday night’s game saw the ‘Pack set a new team record with 15.5 blocks.

Outside hitter Kelly Asleson also set a new team record with two solo blocks and six assists. The newfound team commitment to defense was evident, as they set a new record for block attempts as well (161).

“Last semester we finished with eight digs per set. This semester we wanted 12.  We had 15 today and that was the difference,” Lundgren said after Friday’s win.

They followed up that performance with another victory on Saturday, again led by a great performance by Asleson.

She followed up her record-setting performance the night before with another two solo blocks and five assists.  She also had a game-high 12 digs, but made her presence known on offence as well, adding 16 kills in 29 chances.

“Kelly has really taken over the captain role,” said Lundgren of Asleson’s performance.

“She has been working with the girls and has been a great conduit for me in terms of communication. She has stepped up this year and was a huge part of our success this weekend.”

After his first CIS weekend-sweep, Lundgren commented on what the wins mean to his team.

“We had just been working hard,” he said. “We had played some very good teams the first semester.  It was nice because we could work hard and see what level we are at. Every team in the CW is very strong and we knew that this semester we would have some opportunities to win a few matches. We executed very well this weekend.”

“It’s evidence that hard work pays off,” added Lundgren.

“Now [the players] can talk about us being on a little streak and it builds momentum. That is what we have been lacking.  It is tough to lose every weekend.  Now, the next three weeks will be great because we have this belief that we can win. It is a lot of fun.”

The team takes to the road next weekend to face the University of Calgary Dinos. Their next home games are Feb. 4 and 5 when they host Winnipeg at the TCC.