A tough weekend has come to an end for the TRU women’s volleyball team, after they dropped both games they played against the University of British Columbia Okanagan (UBCO) Heat.
The first game took place Thursday, Nov. 26 at the Tournament Capital Centre and UBCO came out swinging big, taking the first set 25–17. That first set was as close as TRU could get on the night, as UBCO kept the momentum going throughout the match, winning the next two sets by a combined score of 50–19.
UBCO dominated almost every aspect of the game, including out blocking TRU 12–2 by the end of the night.
Krista Hogewoning was named the leader of the ‘Pack player of the game for TRU: she recorded five kills and four digs in the contest.
After that Thursday game. TRU head coach Chad Grimm said that his team would not be changing too much of their game plan heading into Kelowna for the return match.
“Hopefully we can bounce back, recover and come out with a better effort than we did today. I don’t think it’s so much a change in the x’s and o’s, we just have to come out ready to play. Obviously serve reception was the story of the match. We couldn’t pass the ball and it’s tough to compete when you can’t pass the ball,” Grimm said.
All signs seemed to be pointing to a similar result in the Saturday contest after UBCO took the first two sets handily. TRU was then able to show a little of the bounceback that their coach wanted however, as they won a tight third set 25–23.
Unfortunately an incredible comeback was not in the cards as UBCO took the fourth set and the match 3 sets to 1.
Iulia Pakhomenko led the way for the ‘Pack, racking up 13 kills, three assists and nine digs.
TRU came into this weekend’s games with a little bit of extra rest, as they had their scheduled bye the previous weekend. That bye came at a difficult time for the WolfPack as they had just swept the Brandon Bobcats and appeared to be gathering momentum heading into the Christmas break.
Looking back, Grimm would have rather kept things moving forward for the ‘Pack than to take the break that the bye weekend offers.
“In retrospect, keep it going. Obviously this wasn’t what we had hoped for after the bye weekend. At the end of the day every team has a bye weekend and it’s good for the body, a chance to get some schoolwork done and things like that, but I think we took the bye weekend as Christmas holidays.”
Although losing a pair of games to a rival school is a bitter pill to swallow for the ‘Pack, it was always going to be tough to get a positive result against a strong UBCO team.
The Heat ranked first in a pre-season poll of Canada West head coaches and currently sits tied for second in the conference with just one loss on the season.
Speaking before the Thursday game, fourth-year outside hitter Krista Hogewoning said that there isn’t any extra preparation that goes into facing a top team like UBCO.
“Not really, we know every team is going to be a battle, we’ve just been game prepping a lot and looking at some of their big hitters and what their tendencies are. We’re just treating it like any other game.”
After this weekend’s games TRU is now in a tie for sixth place of Canada West, clinging to the last playoff spot with a record of five wins and seven losses. The ‘Pack is back in action after the winter break on Friday, Jan. 8, with a pair of games in Calgary against the Mount Royal University Cougars.