The nationally-ranked Trinity Western women’s volleyball team lost for the first time this year, dropping a five-setter to No. 6-ranked Calgary Saturday at the Langley Events Centre.
Scores were 23-25, 27-25, 16-25, 25-20, and 15-3, as the Spartans’ record fell to 3-1.
After TWU won the third set to take a 2-1 lead, the Dinos responded with a convincing win in the fourth set and then rolled that momentum into a dominant fifth set in which they cruised to a 12-point win.
Despite Elly Wendel collecting 22 kills, the Spartans hit .085 as a team and hit negatively in the third, fourth and fifth sets.
After losing in three sets on Friday, Calgary (1-1) took full advantage of TWU’s sputtering offence to win its first game of the season.
The Dinos Kate Pexman had 18 kills and a match-high 17 digs, while Laura McManes had 14 kills. Setter Leah Shevkenek had 40 assists, guiding the Dinos to a .181 hitting percentage.
TWU’s Sophie Carpentier added 14 kills and two aces while Ashtyn McKenzie had a match-high nine blocks.
In a rare accomplishment, Calgary out-blocked TWU 14-11.5. Both teams had seven aces and 61 digs.
“Calgary came to play tonight,” Spartans coach Ryan Hofer said. “They played really well and put a lot of pressure on our block. We needed to fix a few things and I don’t think we made the adjustments that needed to be made. We just had a hard time managing the ball on our side of the court tonight. We have to get better at that and when we do that, we’re going to put pressure back over there.
“Our passing broke down a little bit. It’s one of our strengths, so we’ll take a look at it. They have some good servers on their side. We’ll get back to work and get better.”
TWU was the better side in the first set, but just barely as the Spartans edged Calgary by two points.
The Dinos offence found a rhythm in the second set, hitting .405 and committing just one attacking error to even the match.
The third set was a battle between negative offences with TWU hitting -.037, but still bettering Calgary’s -.206, as the Spartans ran away with a nine-point win.
The Dinos took an 8-7 lead in the fourth set and, from there, never trailed the rest of the night. Calgary took the set by five points before taking momentum directly into the fifth set.
With Calgary up 2-1 in the fifth set, the Dinos went on an 8-0 run that put the match away. Hannah Tanasichuk picked up her ninth kill of the night to cap off the game.
TWU has a bye next weekend before hosting MacEwan Nov. 18-19. Calgary returns home to host Winnipeg Nov. 12-13.