TRU WolfPack men’s volleyball meets MacEwan before Christmas break | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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TRU WolfPack men’s volleyball meets MacEwan before Christmas break

Randy Grundmann
Image Credit: Thompson Rivers University
November 23, 2016 - 3:59 PM

The Thompson Rivers University WolfPack men’s volleyball team have only two more matches before they enter their Canada West Christmas break.

Those matches come up this weekend (Nov 25-26) when they visit Edmonton, Alberta to play the MacEwan University Griffins.   TRU has a 1-7 record while MacEwan is winless in eight starts.

“MacEwan wasn’t given any favors by the schedule makers and have had a tough schedule thus far,” said WolfPack head coach Mike Hawkins. “We know they have had this weekend circled as an opportunity to get into the win column, but we have different plans for that happening. We are both young programs looking to build towards the future.”

The Griffins have only one player among the Canada West statistical leaders.  Shane Kerrison is fourth in Kills (81). That is one less than TRU’s Randy Grundmann (4th year, outside hitter, Winnipeg, MB).

Hawkins feels Grundmann and Kerrison are very similar players: “They are both dynamic attackers who can score points. But we have the ability to slow him down with our block defense.”

The two teams match up well according to Coach Hawkins: “Their second year Max Vriend is a strong athlete who they’ve been using in a number of different situations who we will look to key on. On the outside, they are actually very similar to us: a heavy hitting outside (Kerrison) and Norwegian (Kai Hesthammer) for them:  Grundmann and Daniel Rod (5th year, outside hitter, Oz, Norway) for us.”

The WolfPack lost a pair of matches last weekend to UBC. The match Saturday (Nov 19) went to five before TRU dropped the decision.  “We are pleased with the way we played last weekend both physically and mentally,” Hawkins stated. “The important thing for us is to continue that progression this weekend rather than take a step back. If we want to develop both individually and collectively, we need to make sure that we are building week to week.”

Thompson Rivers has one other player among the Canada West leaders.  Third year libero Cole Keddie (Edmonton, AB).  He is tied for fourth in digs with 54.   Hawkins has this assessment of the two time USport Academic All-Canadian.  : Keddie has been solid for us at the libero position this semester, despite having to miss a number of practices a week due to his class schedule.  We relied on him in a number of rotations last weekend against UBC, where he knew the block was going to allow their attacker to hit into his zone. He did a great job of picking those balls up and allowing us to transition those digs to attack.”

The matches this weekend can been seen on Canada West TV on a pay-per-view basis.

The WolfPack have next weekend off while MacEwan will face UBC before breaking for Christmas.

The Griffins will be coming to Kamloops between Christmas and New Years (Dec 29-31) where they will play a series of exhibition matches against the ‘Pack and the University of Montreal.

TRU opens the 2017 portion of their schedule with back to back road swings to Calgary (Jan 5-6) and Trinity Western (Jan 13-14). Their next home regular season match isn’t until Friday, January 27th when the University of Regina Cougars pay a visit to the Warner Rentals Court at the Tournament Capital Centre.

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