B.C. settles for bronze
Team B.C. men’s volleyball head coach Pat Hennelly wanted gold, but won bronze after a less-than-excellent round-robin performance left his squad in a battle for third place.
B.C. knocked off Saskatchewan in three sets (25-13, 25-18, 25-17) in the bronze-medal match at the Tournament Capital Centre on Sunday, Aug. 14.
“It’s unfortunate we didn’t get a chance in a playoff round,” said Hennelly, head coach of the Thompson Rivers University WolfPack men’s volleyball squad.
“The format of the tournament is the way it is and I think we would have had shot at a different colour [medal], but Day 2 was the crucial day and we couldn’t pull together our best volleyball.”
B.C. lost to Alberta and Manitoba on Day 2 (Friday, Aug. 12), and finished the round robin with a 2-2 record — not good enough to secure a spot in Sunday’s gold-medal showdown.
Alberta topped Manitoba to win the gold medal on Sunday at the TCC.
B.C.’s wins in the round-robin came against Yukon and Saskatchewan.
Hennelly was pleased with the play of Team B.C. members Brad Gunter and Nic Balasz, both of whom will start their careers with the Pack in the fall.
“Nic played well in the bronze-medal game and Brad, in the Manitoba match, proved he was one of the best, if not the best, player in this tournament.”
Kamloops product Matt Lofgren, a Sa-Hali secondary graduate, also had a strong tournament for B.C., Hennelly said.
Drew Venables of Kamloops was an assistant to Hennelly on the men’s volleyball squad.
The Pack’s bench boss, while not thrilled with bronze, is proud to have coached B.C. at the Games in his hometown.
“I saw lots of people from Kamloops in the crowd and lots of people I know spent time volunteering,” he said.
“That’s what these Games were all about.
“Hopefully, it brings the city together.”