Sports

Spartans beat the Heat

The Trinity Western Spartans were able to withstand the Heat and were rewarded with a pair of victories over the weekend in Kelowna.

The men’s volleyball team, ranked third in the country, took both matches against the UBC Okanagan Heat to close the first half of their season with a 10-2 record.

It wasn’t easy however, as the Spartans were down 2-0 on Sunday before rallying to win the final three sets.

The Heat won sets one and two 25-20 and 25-22 before the Spartans responded by winning 25-19, 25-13 and 15-9.

“It was a tale of two games,” said coach Ben Josephson.

“The first half our opponents were on fire. They had a really nice game plan for us and exploited some things we weren’t doing well and made some great adjustments from the previous night.

“We made some changes mid-match and we executed those things really well and made great decisions. This time of year it’s hard to play great volleyball and improve as a team. It’s sometimes really just about trying to find a way to win matches and our guys did what they needed to do tonight to get the victory.

“After the injuries we sustained in the preseason, we were a little concerned about how the fall was going to go.

“To finish the semester at 10-2, we’re really pleased with how we’ve positioned ourselves through the first half.”

Nick Del Bianco led the team with 22 kills and three aces, plus 11 digs. Brad Kufske added 13 kills and three blocks while Steven Marshall had 10 kilss and 17 digs. Lucas Van Berkel had five blocks and Scott Plocktis had 47 assists.

In Saturday’s victory, the Spartans won 25-22, 25-14 and 25-21. The Heat won the third set 25-21.

Del Bianco again led the way with a dozen kills while Kufske had 11 kills and 12 digs. Branden Schmidt had a career-high eight blocks.

Marshall and Van Berkel both had five blocks and Tyler Koslowsky had 13 digs.

•••••

Two lengthy streaks came to an end for the Trinity Western Spartans women’s volleyball team.

After rattling off 21 straight sets, the Spartans lost the opening set on Saturday in Kelowna against the UBC Okanagan Heat. But more importantly than that, the team also dropped the match 3-1, seeing their streak of nine straight victories come to an end.

The Heat beat the top-ranked Spartans 3-1 (25-19, 13-25, 26-24, 25-17). The Spartans did rebound to win the rematch on Sunday by the same 3-1 score (25-18, 12-25, 25-13, 25-23). Trinity Western closes the first half of the schedule with a 10-2 record.

“We played much better today as a team,” said Spartans coach Ryan Hofer. “Our girls made sure we were unified out there and we followed a better game plan. We were able to put our plan in place and then execute so we could capitalize on certain opportunities.

“It was really nice to have to fight hard for a win. I’m really pleased with how we blocked, how we played defence and how we attacked their block.”

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