Spartans down Wesmen, off to Canada West final four

Tyler Koslowsky and the Trinity Western Spartans volleyball team is in Edmonton for the Canada West final four championships. - Gary Ahuja/Langley Times
Tyler Koslowsky and the Trinity Western Spartans volleyball team is in Edmonton for the Canada West final four championships.
— image credit: Gary Ahuja/Langley Times

The Trinity Western Spartans are one win away from a chance to compete for their third consecutive national championship.

The Spartans men’s volleyball team dispatched the Winnipeg Wesmen 3-0 and 3-2 last week in the best-of-three quarter-final series at the Langley Events Centre.

The victory advanced Trinity Western to Edmonton this weekend as the Alberta Pandas host the Canada West final four championships.

After winning in straight sets (25-23,25-20,25-20) on Feb. 14, the Spartans were pushed to five sets on Feb. 15.

Trinity Western won sets one and three 25-22 and 27-25 but the Wesmen responded in sets two and four, 25-20 and 25-23. But the fifth set was all TWU as they whipped Winnipeg 15-4.

The Spartans were led by Nick Del Bianco had 22 kills, 11 digs and four blocks, and Lucas Van Berkel, who had 10 kills, three blocks and a pair of aces.

Steven Marshall added 16 kills and Dan Jansen Van Doorn had 11 blocks, including four in the fifth set alone. And setter Jarrod Offeriens had 57 assists.

“I thought our middles were dominant and did their jobs,” said Spartans coach Ben Josephson.

“All three of our outside hitters had spurts of really great play and then other spurts where we need to fix some things.”

Game one saw a balanced attack with Del Bianco collecting 16 kills, Marshall with 11 and Brad Kufske with 10.

Trinity Western (16-6) faces UBC (15-7) in one Canada West semifinal while the other pits top-seed Alberta (20-2) against Brandon (13-9).

Three of the four teams make the CIS national tournament in Quebec City.

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