WolfPack complete weekend sweep of Griffins with 3-0 victory

MacEwan's Hailey Cornelis attempts a block on TRU's Mikayla Funk during Saturday's match (Andrew Snucins photo).
MacEwan's Hailey Cornelis attempts a block on TRU's Mikayla Funk during Saturday's match (Andrew Snucins photo).

MacEwan Athletics and TRU Athletics

KAMLOOPS, B.C. – Thompson Rivers hit another gear that MacEwan was unable to match in completing a season-opening weekend sweep of the Griffins in Canada West women's volleyball action on Saturday night.

A night after pushing the WolfPack to five sets in a close match, the Griffins went down in three straight, falling 25-19, 25-13, 25-23.

"The positives are that we got to play a more physical group off the bat," said Griffins head coach Ken Briggs. "I thought Thompson Rivers had a great second day. They made some great adjustments – the biggest one being that you could tell they were at home. They were more confident and went after it.

"There was a middle part of the game where maybe they would have let us back in the door. But they upped their intensity. I thought their defence really held well for them in the middle and pulled them at the end."

Freshman outside hitter Yevgeniya Nyukhalova from the Ukraine again led the WolfPack with 14 kills, eight digs and a block.

Cassidy Kinsella led the Griffins with eight kills and seven digs on a rare night she didn't smash into double digits. With 982 career Canada West kills, she has moved into the top 15 all-time. She also cracked the top 20 in career conference points (1124.5).

"She going to be steady. She is a fifth year and knows what to do," said Briggs. "If we could have passed a little better … which I am a little disappointed on that. We focused on it and we really couldn't get her the ball. 

"She will always be the girl that they have to take care of.  She still managed to score well enough, but we need some other help, too."

Hailey Cornelis had four kills, seven digs and five block assists for the Griffins, while Lauren Holmes chipped in five kills.

Thompson Rivers was also led by Rachel Windhorst (eight kills) and Anastasiya Muzyka (25 assists) as they improve to 2-0.

 "Anytime you get a sweep in our league is a positive," said WolfPack head coach Chad Grimm. "The home opener is important to come out and get a good start.

"MacEwan, I think will be right in the mix as a playoff team. It was nice to put back to back efforts together."

The Griffins (0-2) will head back to Edmonton to regroup and prepare for their home opener against cross-town rival Alberta (0-0) on Saturday, Oct. 28 (5 p.m., Atkinson Gym).