A Castlegar-area teen is adding some height to Thompson Rivers University’s WolfPack volleyball team as they begin their recruiting class for the 2020-21 Canada West men’s season.
The Pack has announced that they signed six-foot-nine Reilly Podovelnikoff of Castlegar recently.
Podovelnikoff attends Mount Sentinel in South Slocan — the same school WolfPack coach Pat Hennelly attended. He is a middle but also has some experience playing on the right side.
“I met Tim Dobbert during my school visit last spring,” Podovelnikoff said. “The team made me feel very welcome.”
He adds that the fact his father Scott played with Hennelly was key to his decision to commit to the school. It also helped that his idol, Gord Perrin, is an alumnus of the WolfPack program and Dave Olynyk, his father’s and Hennelly’s former coach, helps with the TRU program.
“Reilly has really improved tremendously in his volleyball skills, play and understanding of the game in a relatively short time,” says his high school coach Glen Campbell. “His greatest asset is his size and being reasonably athletic/co-ordinated for someone his size (and he is still growing). Reilly also has really good passing, volley and hitting skills.”
Although he suffered two injuries which prevented him from practicing and playing, Podovelnikoff helped his Mount Sentinel Wildcats to a fifth place finish at the provincial A boys championships last year. The team is ranked No. 2 in B.C. going into the 2019 provincials, being held at Mount Sentinel.
Podovelnikoff is truly a project as he has only played competitive volleyball for two years but made Team BC twice and attended the 2019 Nationals in Halifax.
“Looking forward to adding Reilly to the program,” says Hennelly about his recruit. “I played with his dad Scott at Mount Sentinel in the ‘80s where we won the 1987 provincial championship. I have watched Reilly develop over the past two years and have been impressed with his progress. Reilly is a presence at the net and will have the ability to challenge some of our big guys.”
He will be taking the education and skills training program while attending Thompson Rivers.