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Great crowd for exhibition volleyball match at UNBC
Pat Hennelly has done a lot of work in cultivating the city of Prince George as a favourable place for the Thompson Rivers University WolfPack men’s volleyball team and the sport as a whole.
That was very much evidenced on Friday night (Sept 27) as the WolfPack took on fellow Canada West members: the University of British Columbia Okanagan Heat in an exhibition match.
Over 1,400 people crammed into the University of Northern British Columbia gym to see the Pack take the Heat 3-0. The scores were 25-154, 25-16,25-21.
“It was as good as being at home,” said Hennelly. “ There were so many people wearing WolfPack swag and cheering us on. All the years we have come up here to do development camps in the summer are paying off.”
Hennelly felt both squads played much better than in their match Thursday (Sept 26) at the Tournament Capital Centre.
“We controlled the first two sets, getting up to a four or five point advantage,” the TRU coach said. “They played better in the last set.”
The match was a homecoming for five members of the Thompson Rivers University program—Colin Carson (setter) and Spencer Reed (libero) were playing their final matches in front of friends and family. Both are fifth year players. “Reed was great on defence and Carson was excellent,” Hennelly said.
Nic Balazs (3rd year, middle), Jordan Foot (1st year, middle) and Jared Mitchell (1st year, libero) all saw action in front of familiar faces as well. “Nic and Jordan were steady in the middle while Jared came on in the third set with us up 20-18 and served four straight points including a service ace.”
TRU was led by Brad Gunter. The third year left side from Courtenay, BC had 12 kills.
“Brad has only been practicing with us for a week,” says Hennelly. “But it’s apparent that his summer with the Junior National team has paid off. He has clearly improved and is dominant already.”
Hardy Wooldridge(4th year, left side, Mission Viejo, CA) had 10 kills. Balazs had six kills and four blocks.
The match also marked the debut of Matt Krueger (4th year, Abbotsford, BC) at a new position. Krueger is normally a libero. But he saw time in this match on the left side.