Men’s volleyball still in the playoff picture

Adam Williams, Sports Editor Ω

The WolfPack men’s volleyball team is still in the hunt for a playoff spot, after winning one of two games against the UBC Thunderbirds this weekend. TRU won Jan. 18 by a score of three sets to one (25-22, 30-28, 22-25 and 30-28).

The victory helped the team bounce back from back-to-back losses in Saskatchewan to open 2013.

“We didn’t have a good weekend in Saskatchewan,” said head coach Pat Hennelly. “We wanted to get back to the level of play that we’ve been in at practices and I thought we were there Friday and Saturday.”

The WolfPack had to play without outside hitter Hardy Wooldridge Jan. 19 who twisted his ankle in warm-ups. Though rookie Stuart Richey played well in relief, Hennelly cited Wooldridge’s absence as one of the main differences for his team between Friday and Saturday.

“We had a little more emotion on Friday night,” Hennelly said. “Philip [Ozari] had a great night Friday – an exceptional night. That kind of made the difference I think, he had a lot more offensive output on Friday night.”

Ozari had 15 kills and 4 four aces in Friday night’s victory and was named player of the match.

The WolfPack play tenth place University of Calgary (4-12), eighth place Mount Royal University (7-9) and seventh place University of Winnipeg (8-8) in the final three weeks of the season, all of whom they are fighting with for the seventh and final playoff spot in the Canada West conference.

“We’re really trying to stay aggressive on our side,” Hennelly said. “The message for the guys, as young guys, is we’re going after these wins.”

The WolfPack currently sit in ninth place. Their next home game will be Feb. 2 against Mount Royal University at the Tournament Capital Centre.