Both men’s and women’s basketball teams at Thompson Rivers University won in the old TRU Gym on Friday night during Retro Night games.
The Pack squads were hosting the University of Saskatchewan Huskies on a night on which the school was honouring former players on championship teams who donned the colours of Cariboo College and the University College of the Cariboo, institutions from which TRU was born.
The WolfPack women prevailed 3-1 behind scores of 22-25, 25-22, 25-22 and 25-15 to improve their record to 11-10.
The loss left Saskatchewan at 8-13 in Canada West standings.
TRU was led by Olga Savenchuk with 13 kills, followed by Kendra Finch with 12 and Avery Pottle with 11. Saskatchewan 's main weapon was Emily Koshinsky, with 16 kills.
The games were played in the TRU Gym because the WolfPack’s usual home — the Tournament Capital Centre next door — was occupied by this weekend’s Gary Reed Invitational track meet.
The smaller confines seemed to have an effect on the volleyball action.
“I actually really like playing here,” said WolfPack women’s head coach Chad Grimm.
“The atmosphere is great. We didn't serve very well here, especially early. That hurt us early in the match. We started to string some runs together from the service line which really helped. I liked our energy. I thought we played well ‘in the moment.’”
Saskatchewan coach Mark Dodds said the old gym was enjoyed by his players.
“It was likely the loudest gym we played in this year,” he said. “Great atmosphere. I think if I am an athlete, I think this is the environment I would want to play in."
The WolfPack men defeated the Huskies 3-1 behind scores of 25-19 ,25-23,18-25 and 25-16.
TRU moves to 10-9 on the season, tied with Calgary for fifth place in the league with three matches to go. Saskatchewan falls to seventh with a 9-10 record.
Tim Dobbert led TRU offensively again with 19 kills. He now has 327 kills, the most in Canada West.
Saskatchewan's offence was led by Dylan Mortenson, with 11 kills in 28 opportunities.
A return trip
The match marked the return of Huskies’ head coach Nathan Bennett to Kamloops for the first time since he left TRU last summer to take the position in Saskatchewan.
The WolfPack and Huskies will return to action on Saturday in the TRU Gym. The women will play at 5 p.m., followed by the men at 6:45 p.m.
The WolfPack women’s win left them at 11-10 in the 13-team Canadian University Sport Canada West Standings, tied with Manitoba for seventh. The top eight teams make the playoffs, which begin on Feb. 21. The WolfPack women wrap up the regular season next weekend in Kelowna against UBC Okanagan, which sits last in the Canada West with a record of 2-19. The WolfPack men’s win left them at 10-9, tied with Calgary for fifth in the 12-team Canada West. The top eight teams make the playoffs, which begin on Feb. 21. The WolfPack men finish the regular season next weekend in Kelowna against UBC Okanagan, which sits last in the Canada West with a record of 0-19.