Spartans bronzed at nationals
It wasn’t the colour of medal they had their hearts set on, but the Trinity Western Spartans recovered to capture their second bronze medal in the past three years at the national championships.
Trinity Western defeated the Ottawa Gee-Gees 3-0 (25-18,25-20,25-13) to win bronze at the Canadian Interuniversity Sport championships in Sherbooke, Que. on Saturday.
This came on the heels of a 3-1 loss to the UBC Thunderbirds on Friday night in the semifinals.
Trinity Western won their quarter-final match 3-0 (25-13,25-18,25-19) over the Dalhousie Tigers on Thursday.
The T-Birds would go on to win their sixth straight CIS national championship. UBC lost just one match all season, which came back in November against Trinity Western.
“For sure, it was tough,” said Spartans coach Ryan Hofer.
“But I am proud of the girls, proud of the journey they made, proud that they finished strong.”
Against Ottawa, the Spartans led from start to finish, and they never allowed their opponent to generate any momentum. They hit .407 for the match while Ottawa hit a paltry .088 and out-hit them 40-17.
Amber Brown, Amy Ott and Nicole Bazin each had eight kills while Alicia Brown and Amy Ott had three blocks apiece. Brown and Kelci French had two aces apiece and Brown was the player of the match.
“I’m really proud of the team to rise after a tough loss yesterday,” Hofer said.
“Their hearts were broken: they wanted to be in that final, going for that gold.
“I believe it takes a ton of character to come back after you’ve been blocked from reaching your goal and go back out there in search of something that’s not quite what you wanted.
“But a bronze is a great achievement for the school and it’s something the (team) should be proud of.”
“They know that they represented their school with pride.”
Trinity Western finished the regular season ranked second among CIS schools, behind only UBC. In fact, during the 14-week season, they were ranked first or second for 13 weeks, with one week at number four, and this was back in January.
Inexplicably, however, they were seeded fourth for nationals which put them on a collision course with the Thunderbirds on the same side of the draw.
Meanwhile, Alberta — the seventh seed and the team the Spartans beat the week before in the Canada West semifinals — advanced to the CIS finals, where they lost 3-0 to UBC.
Alicia Perrin and Kelci French were both named second-team all-Canadians for the Spartans.