Courtney Dickson, Roving Editor Ω
Both the men’s and women’s WolfPack volleyball teams fell at the hand of the University of Alberta (U of A) this past weekend. TRU was unable to win a single set, losing 3-0 in all four matches.
The U of A Pandas went into the weekend sitting in third place in Canada West. The WolfPack was mired in last place.
The first two sets of the women’s match were over quickly as the U of A took a 25-7 win and continued to dominate, winning 25-10 in the second.
The WolfPack pulled ahead for the first time in the match at the beginning of the third set. That didn’t last long as the Pandas quickly overtook TRU and didn’t look back, triumphing 28-26.
Already courting a small roster, the WolfPack women have three players out with injury, a fact that has not helped the team through its early season struggles.
Hayley Hills, assistant coach of the WolfPack, said the women’s team was over-thinking during the first two sets.
“The U of A has a good squad,” Hills said. “Our girls were intimidated.”
Hills thought the women improved in the third set and she was hoping for the same focus Saturday evening.
Though the men had a slightly better match, they were also unable to defeat the Golden Bears. U of A came into the match as the number one seed in Canada West while the WolfPack sat in the bottom half of the conference.
The Golden Bears have been league leaders in kills and hitting percentage this season.
The match was a struggle for both teams, resulting in another three-set loss for the WolfPack.
Jared Mitchell who is red-shirted this year, has been practicing with the team. Despite the losses, he noticed his teammates putting to use what they have been learning at practice.
“As I see it, we can only improve from here,” Mitchell said.
Pat Hennelly, in his seventh season as head coach of the men’s team, was not pleased with the WolfPack’s mental game on Nov. 16.
“We didn’t play particularly well,” Hennelly said. “U of A wasn’t sharp, either.”
Hennelly also said the team will need to control their emotions and focus if they want to see an improvement on the court.
Both teams again lost all three sets on Saturday, wrapping up a weekend of disheartening defeat for the WolfPack volleyball program.
Next weekend both teams will head out on the road to face the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg.