KAMLOOPS — It could have been the large crowd, it could have been the Kamloops Rube Band. But most likely it was their character which helped the Thompson Rivers University (TRU) WolfPack men’s volleyball team win their Canada West home opener.
The Pack beat the defending U SPORTS champion UBC Thunderbirds 3-1 Friday night at the Warner Rentals Court at the Tournament Capital Centre. The Pack rallied from a 1-0 deficit to win the match 3-1 (19-25, 25-18,28-26, 25-14)
Vernon’s Landon Currie is a second-year libero with the WolfPack, while Vernon’s Danny Aspenlieder is a third-year outside hitter with the Thunderbirds.
The Pack also swept the Thunderbirds Saturday at the Tournament Capital Centre. The scores were 25-23, 23-25, 17-25, 25-20,15-13. TRU has won three in a row and moves to 3-1 on the season. The defending USPORTS champion Thunderbirds are still searching for their first win in four outings.
TRU was led by Canada West second-team all-star Tim Dobbert with 20 kills in 51 chances. He added a team-high eight digs. Charlie Bringloe added nine kills with Anton Napolitano having 28 assists. The main offensive weapon for UBC was James Tokken with 16 kills. Aspenlieder contributed 11 kills with Zec Johnson piling up 32 assists.
On Friday, TRU was led offensively for the third straight match by Dobbert with 12 kills. Jordan Deschane and James Takkan had seven kills each for UBC.
The T-Birds took advantage of some TRU errors and went into the first tech timeout up 16-13 and went on to a 25-19 win. Joel Regehr led the way offensively with four kills in five swings. In the second set, the WolfPack’s play was more consistent and they led 16-13 after the first tech timeout. They rolled to a 25-18 win thanks to Dobbert with six kills.
The third set began with the TRU bench going wide when the diminutive Issac Smit (5th year, Kelowna) got a big kill playing in the front row. The Pack won the first four points causing UBC coach Hawkins to call the timeout. UBC wound up making four straight service errors to put them down 12-7. UBC cut the deficit to 15-11 before the Pack got the point to go into the break up by five (16-11).