Three receive all-star nods following quarter-finals loss

WolfPack women's volleyball team made UBC work for it in the CanWest playoffs

Iuliia Pakhomenko and Kendra Finch at Saturday’s game against the UBC Thunderbirds. (Wilson Wong/UBC Athletics)

The WolfPack women’s volleyball team was really up against it in the Canada West quarter-finals. Facing the UBC Thunderbirds, who went 20-4 this past season, the WolfPack managed to keep close in their first game and made a run for it in the second, but ultimately lost two straight games and will not advance in the playoffs.

In Friday’s 3-0 loss, a bad start turned into a redeeming next two sets as the team went 16-25, 23-25 and 24-26.

“We came out a little bit nervous and got away from our game plan. We started to speed up the game a little too much and couldn’t find our rhythm,” said head coach Chad Grimm following the first game, according to a TRU Athletics news release.

Iullia Pakhomenko had 13 kills on 28 chances, 8 digs and 2 service aces.

The second game was a very different story for the WolfPack, but the result was the same. The women took the Thunderbirds to five sets, going 25-27, 24-26, 25-19, 25-18 and 13-15.

Pakhomenko and Rachel Windhorst both gave stand-out performances. Pakhomenko delivered 20 kills on 62 opportunities, 11 digs, 2 block assists and an ace, while Windhorst brought 20 kills on 48 chances, had 6 digs, 2 block assists and an ace.

“Obviously a tough one. I thought we fought really well. It was really difficult to drop the first two but a huge credit to the girls: they didn’t give up: they fought, they clawed, they did everything in their control to give themselves a chance,” Grimm said in a TRU Athletics release.

For its efforts, the WolfPack women landed three players on this week’s Canada West all-star teams. Iullia Pakhomenko was named a first-team all-star, and Mikayla Funk and Abby Spratt were named to the all-rookie team.