Team Canada Weekend A Huge Success

 THUNDER BAY, ON -

They came. They saw. They spiked. They posed. They signed. In what was a high-flying conclusion to a volleyball filled weekend, Team Canada put on a spectacular display of top caliber talent versus the Lakehead Thunderwolves in a four-set exhibition match. The Thunderwolves fought hard in the first two sets with their starters on the floor, but did lose all four sets (25-23, 25-23, 25-16, 25-13) to the taller and more experienced Team Canada players.

In the final two sets of the match, some Lakehead players(Cailyn Bradica and Kristina Visser) and Local alumni (Jen Kamphof and Jen McKenzie) did suit up with the Team Canada, and the full Lakehead bench played together on the court, so as to maximize each players experience at this very rare event. The Highschool Tournament displayed the amazing young talent and the quick growth in this game, and the Clinics for the Players and Coaches provided a treat for all involved.

Steve Carroll, executive director of the Ontario Volleyball Association (OVA) on the weekend of events:

"I really liked the combination of high school, university and national level volleyball happening here in Thunder Bay this weekend. The coaches got a lot of learning done at the clinics, I saw at least 20 coaches furiously taking notes and paying close attention. I have to give credit to the professional manner in which Lupo Ludwig [Team Canada Coach] handled the clinics and his coordinates his players. A lot of credit also has to go to Chris Green for organizing the whole weekend. There were great crowds, and we definitely could not have puled off such an event from our base in Toronto. We'd love to come back, and we know there's lots of potential here in Thunder Bay."

Jason Trepanier, OVA technical director:

"It was a jam-packed weekend of events and great crowds! This will no doubt be a memorable experience for all the young players in the crowd and in attendance at the clinics, and of course the Lakehead team, all of whom got to see and experience the top level of volleyball in Canada. A big thanks has to go to the Trillium Fund, without whose generous grant this event would not have been a possibility."

LU Head Coach Chris Green was glad that the weekend came together so well and congratulated his players:

"I am honored to have Lupo and Scott [Team Canada Coaches] here to help with the promotion and development of this game. Their passion and experience was nothing short of electric, and our coaches, athletes and players gained from this. In any sport, when the National Team athletes visit, our young athletes gain an invaluable experience. OVA was nothing short of amazing in their support as was Athletic Director Mr. Tom Warden and his staff. Region 1 President, Tony Curciarrelo was instrumental in his work to make this a success, culminating in a great dinner to send Team Canada Home with great memories of Thunder Bay. All of our combined efforts made this a positive experience for all. Lets see in the future which local athletes will be inspired to reach the highest level that the National Team Women displayed. They are true role models. Finally, our LU Women's Volleyball Team was masterful in their efforts in what was a busy weekend for them. I am so proud of them. Who wouldn't remember playing on the same team as an Olympic athlete?"

Lakehead 5th year senior Karla Brayshaw was touched with the opportunity to end her LU career on such a high note for the Thunder Bay volleyball community:

"Having team Canada here this weekend was an exciting experience for the team and volleyball community in Thunder Bay, playing them Sunday afternoon was so much fun. The girls were great and it was nice seeing that caliber of volleyball in our home gym. It was definitely a memorable weekend to finish my career at Lakehead."


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Hugh Mullally
Sports Information Director
Lakehead University Athletics
Office: 807 766 7157
Fax: (807) 343-8203
www.thunderwolves.ca

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