Full weekend of sports action for the Thunderwolves

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THUNDER BAY – It is a full weekend of sports action for the Thunderwolves. The Women’s Volleyball host their final home games of the season and the Wrestling team vies for OUA supremacy, while the Track team competes at St. Scholastica and the basketball teams play their final road games of the regular season versus Brock in St Catharines.

Women’s Volleyball (1-15) vs RMC (8-7) – The women’s volleyball team will play their final games of the seasons versus RMC, Friday and Saturday evening. Lakehead Volleyball will graduate 5th year senior Michelle Cournoyer (Fort Frances) on Saturday evening.

RMC comes into the Thunderdome working towards being a playoff bound team. These final matches can go a long way to determining their season. RMC is led by the 6’3″ trio of Mallory and Chelsey Litjens, as well as Melissa McCoy. Norah Collins and Daniel Vortisch have the most attempts for attack at over 400 a piece this season. This team is physical and loves to play long volleyball games. RMC is 5-4 at home and 3-4 on the road.

Coach Chris Green said, “Our job is large here. We want to build off the solid play we had against Ryerson and in doing so we want to finish our season on a winning note. That is a large task with the team coming in needing to win both games. We have to attack with a smart offense and our serve defend system will get tested to the max. Both teams are very good on defense so I see us having prolonged rallies and some exciting volleyball to wrap up our season. Hopefully the Thunderdome will have a loud and boisterous welcome ready for the RMC team.”

Game time is 7 pm, Friday and Saturday.

Webcast coverage will be available via SSN Canada (www.ssncanada.ca)

Wrestling @ OUA Championships, hosted by McMaster

McMaster will host the OUA wrestling championships on Saturday. Lakehead enters the weekend with a CIS # 3 women’s team and CIS # 9 men’s team. The line up for the Thunderwolves is as follows:

Women
51 kg- Bre Beh
55 kg- Alexi Kreps
59 kg- Karleah Bonk
63 kg- Jenny Pranger
67 kg- Kelsey Dayler
72 kg- Sara Cattani
82 kg- Emma Brightwell

Men
54 kg- Dustin Helwig
57 kg- Steve Gross
61 kg- Gary Lynch
65 kg- Jackson Taylor
68 kg- John Sam Driedger
72 kg- Scott Christian
76 kg- Jake Devlin
82 kg- Nikkilas Wilson
90 kg- Yasin Kaya
130 kg- Preston Mikulasik

Track and Field – This weekend will serve as the final tune-up prior to the OUA Championships at York in two weeks, with a few Thunderwolves still trying to make OUA qualifying standards. Alastair Brown and Tess Naroski (who have already met qualifying standards) will be competing in Boston, MA, in the Boston University Valentines Day Invite.

Coach Kip Sigsworth shared, “For most athletes this will be a weekend to work on things that they will need to do to be successful at the OUA Championships in two weeks time. Fine tuning their pre race prep and racing tactics as well as getting in one more race effort. We still have a few athletes with a good chance of hitting OUA standard, and for them the pressure is on to perform. Alastair and Tess will be in Boston, it is our first time competing there and it will be a good chance for them to test themselves against some very tough competition.”

Men’s Basketball (16-2, CIS #2) @ Brock (9-9) – The men’s team will go on the road without starting center Yoosrie Salhia and forward Brendan King, who are both nursing upper body injuries. It will certainly serve as a great opportunity for reserve forwards Matt Schmidt, Adam Johnson and Anthony McIntosh to step up in the absence of Salhia and King. The Brock Badgers field a tough team that is poised to make some noise in the OUA West playoffs, and could do no better by than knocking off a short-staffed Thunderwolves team at home in St Catharines. Similar to the T-Wolves, the Badgers have several players averaging over 10 points per contest, led by Jameson Tipping (14.9 PPG) and Tshing Kasamba (11.2 PPG).

Coach Scott Morrison commwnted, Brock has one of the most talented rosters in the OUA and tough matchups both on the perimeter and in the paint. We are going to need to improve our team defense and stay focused on the game plan set out for this opponent. Injuries are a factor for all teams at this stage in the season but we cannot let things we cannot control affect our execution.”

Game time is 8 pm, Friday and Saturday.

Women’s Basketball (9-9) @ Brock (12-7) – The Lady Thunderwolves will take on a tough Brock Badger team, whom they knocked out of the playoffs last year (at Brock). The women enter the weekend on the precarious play-off bubble, currently tied for 5th place, with 7th place Guelph (8-11) nipping at their heels following a mid-week victory, and representing Lakehead’s opponent for the final two regular season games (in Thunder Bay, Feb 17 & 18).

Brock is led by 6’1 forward Nicole Rosenkranz (13.4 ppg, 8.1 rpg, 1.2 blocks per game) and crafty point guard, 5’7 Emily McKay, who averages 9.6 ppg and 4.4 rpg.

Coach Jon Kreiner said, “This is a big weekend for both teams as Brock is looking to secure a first round bye and we are looking to stay even with McMaster & Western. Brock is a good team that passes the ball well and applies good ball pressure. We need to be disciplined and take care of the ball. We really need to be ready to work hard for rebounds & loose balls and play tough defense without fouling.”

Game time is 6 pm, Friday and Saturday.

Webcast coverage: Please check SSN Canada website and www.thunderwolves.ca closer to game time for possible coverage updates.

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Hugh Mullally is the Sports Information Director at Lakehead University. Hugh shares, "In the field of athletics, I aspire to continue developing my public profile as a source for sports information with my current employer, with a little bit of entertainment mixed in with my live game commentary and my weekly radio show that features athletes and coaches from Lakehead University".