WolfPack goes winless in Winnipeg

TRU Volleyball unsuccessful in four matches over the weekend

Iulia Pakhomenko sends the ball over the net. (TRU Athletics)

Iulia Pakhomenko sends the ball over the net. (TRU Athletics)

It was a weekend to forget for TRU volleyball, as both the men’s and women’s teams failed to record a win in Winnipeg, both playing against the University of Winnipeg Wesmen.

The action got underway Friday night with the WolfPack women taking on a Wesmen team that had only one win in their six previous matches this year. The WolfPack came out of the gates hot as they won the first two sets and looked ready to win the match with relative ease. The Wesmen had other plans however, as it was then their turn to catch fire and they reeled off two straight impressive set victories. Heading into the fifth and final set it was the Wesmen that had all the momentum, and they would take advantage of that to squeak out a 15–13 victory.

TRU athletics head coach Chad Grimm was disappointed that his team couldn’t hold onto their early lead and win the match. “We had a chance on the road to come away with a victory against a team that was struggling. We let them creep back into it and we imploded.”

If a close loss on Friday was tough to swallow for the WolfPack women then the game on Saturday offered them no relief. They lost to Winnipeg three sets to none, despite a strong effort in the third and deciding set.

Struggling against some top teams through the early portion of the season, the men’s team came into the weekend hoping to get their season back on track, as they played a Wesmen team that had recorded just two wins in their first six games.

A turnaround was not in the cards for the ‘Pack however, despite playing Winnipeg tough in two sets they lost the match three sets to none.

The men would put up stiffer competition in the match on Saturday as they won a set and went on a couple point runs to drag themselves back into the fourth set, but unfortunately the end result was the same: a three sets to one Wesmen victory.

Despite the losses there were some bright spots for both TRU teams. Reigning Canada West female athlete of the week Iulia Pakhomenko was again dominant for TRU, adding 36 kills to her league-leading total. TRU also showcased some diversity in attack with Krista Hogewoning picking up 19 kills and Katie Woo adding 61 assists on the weekend.

Brad Gunter led the way for the men with 28 kills on the weekend. Kyle Behiels and Brandon Hewwing rounded out the attack for TRU nicely.

After the setbacks of this past weekend, both of the teams find themselves in a little bit of a hole that they are going to have to find their way out of if they want to qualify for the playoffs in the extremely competitive Canada West conference. The women currently hold a record of three wins and five losses, while the men find themselves in a tough spot as they sit at one win and seven losses. Both teams will be in action next weekend at the Tournament Capital Centre when the University of Brandon Bobcats come to Kamloops