WolfPack year in review

Mike Davies:  Sports Editor    Ω

In our last issue of the Omega for the school year, we look back at 2010-2011 in WolfPack athletics to celebrate another year of university sport in Kamloops.

WolfPack Soccer:

It was a disappointing season on the pitch for both the men’s and women’s squad, but both teams also had their bright spots.

Tom McManus’ women’s team went 3-6-3 in the regular season and managed to sneak into the BCCAA playoffs only to suffer a first-round loss at the hands of Langara College.

Individually, several ‘Pack members garnered attention. Laura Smylie and Chloe McAuley were both named BCCAA athletes of the week during the season, Sarah Gomes was named a BCCAA first-team all-star and Blair MacKay and Abbey McAuley were named as second-team all-stars.

Abbey McAuley was also named the TRU Sports Task Force Athlete of the Year and midfielder Ashley Piggot was named the Dr. Roger H. Barnsley Scholar Athlete of the Year.

Sean Wallace’s men’s squad finished their regular season with a record of 7-3-3 and won their first-round match in the playoffs, but fell to Vancouver Island University in overtime in the second round of the tournament. VIU went on to win the tournament and continued on to become the CCAA National Champions.

WolfPack members Adam Dodgson and Justin Wallace were named to the BCCAA first all-star team, with Connor Doherty being named to the second-team all-star roster.

Wallace was also named as the BCCAA player of the week twice during regular season play, and was named the BCCAA Rookie of the Year as well as a National Academic All-Canadian.

WolfPackBasketball:

While both the men’s and women’s teams missed the Canada West (CW) division playoffs this season, both squads put up record numbers for the school’s program.

Having won only 13 games in total in the five-year history of the program, the WolfPack women’s basketball team came away with nine more wins this past season, showing that they truly are developing a winning culture and growing as a program. The team is only graduating one player this off-season—fifth-year forward Kayla Forsyth—so the future definitely looks bright.

The WolfPack men’s team managed only four wins this season but had a few bright spots as well.

The ‘Pack was led by CW and CIS Defensive player of the year Greg Stewart.  It is the first time in the school’s history that a WolfPack player has won a national athletic award.

Stewart also won the TRU Male Athlete of the Year award for his on-court performance this past year, which was his last as a member of the WolfPack having played his entire five-year CIS career in orange and black.

WolfPack Volleyball:

Keith Lundgren only saw two wins in his second season on the bench for the ‘Pack women’s volleyball team, but as he puts it, “We did a good job of changing the
direction and the culture that we want.” Lundgren said he expects the team to continue to become more competitive in the coming years.

Lundgren has recently recruited a few excellent prospects for the team including Morgan Kolasa, who comes to TRU from the Dinos club program in Calgary, Alberta. The Dinos won the Alberta Provincial Title in 2010, and was the fourth-ranked program in the country that year.

Pat Hennelly guided his men’s volleyball team to its fifth consecutive playoff appearance in a very difficult CW division this past season. Seven of the top 10 ranked teams in the final CIS rankings come from the CW division, including Hennelly’s WolfPack ranked at number eight nationally.

Kevin Tillie played his way onto the CW first all-star team and earned a spot on the CIS second all-star team as well.

WolfPack Badminton:

Head coach Brad Pape led the WolfPack badminton team to a bronze medal in the BCCAA championship this past season for a second consecutive year.

Arguably the most successful program at the school this past year, the badminton team was led by Garrett Babichuk.

Babichuk earned his way to the national championships in Mount Allison, NB with a silver medal at the provincials and Marlee Mertens, who was awarded the TRU Female Athlete of the Year trophy this year, made it two out of the past three years that a badminton player has won TRU’s highest athletic award. Babichuk won the award in 2008.

Along with Babichuk’s silver, the TRU mixed doubles team of Alex Perkin and Whitney Makenny also brought home a provincial bronze medal, as did their women’s doubles team of Mertens and Kia Lidster.

Wolf Pack Hockey:

For the second year in a row, the TRU hockey team fell one win short of a provincial championship, losing again to their bitter rivals from Simon Fraser University (SFU) in the final match of the BCIHL championship tournament held in Burnaby.

The team scored more than twice as many goals as their opponents this season, had two of the top five scoring leaders in the league, and one of only two defencemen in the top 25 in league scoring in Darcy Huisman.

Head coach Lorne Cumming was named the BCIHL Coach of the Year, forward Jassi Sangha was named a first-team all-star, and Huisman earned a second-team all-star award for their outstanding seasons with the ‘Pack.

WolfPack Baseball:

With three returning CCBC all-stars in Dillon Morgan, Dave Hole and Danny Moore, WolfPack baseball is just beginning their regular season.

The ‘Pack captured the league pennant last season finishing with a record of 18-6 but lost in the final game of the league tournament to the VIBI Mariners.

Check out tru.ca/athletics for their schedule and head across town to NorBrock Stadium to catch some baseball action this spring as Dr. Roger H. Barnsley Scholar Athlete of the Year award winner Alex Condon and the ‘Pack attempt to win their second consecutive league pennant.

The WolfPack also host the championship tournament this year from May 13 to 15.