Two more victories improved the Trinity Western Spartans to 4-0 to start the Canada West season.
The men’s volleyball team — ranked first in the country — won 3-1 and 3-0 over the visiting UBC Okanagan Heat on Oct. 27 and 28 at the Langley Events Centre.
The Spartans also raised their 2017 U Sports championship banner prior to Friday’s game.
“Our kids were really amped up,” said TWU coach Ben Josephson. “It was such an amazing start to the game, with the banner raising and all the students and all the noise.”
The Spartans won the first two sets 25-23 and 25-20 before the Heat forced a fourth set with their 25-23 victory. That marked the first time this season TWU has dropped a set.
TWU responded with a decisive 25-12 win to take the match.
“I don’t think we were very disciplined in our shot-making and that got exploited by a well-coached group,” Josephson said. “Thank goodness we served the ball as well as we did or that could have been a different night.”
The Spartans hit .194 for the match and also finished with 13 aces.
Eric Loeppky led the way with 13 kills and six aces while Riley Vander Meulen had five blocks and Jacob Kern had eight digs.
Saturday’s rematch saw TWU win in straight sets, 25-14, 25-17 and 29-27.
Kern (14 kills) and Loeppky (11 kills) led the attack with Kern also getting 10 digs.
Tough weekend for TWU women
The Spartans women’s team fell to 1-3 on the season after losing a pair of home-court matches to the UBC Okanagan Heat.
“We have a lot newness to our team and we are taking some time to learn our roles and responsibilities,” said coach Ryan Hofer.
“We don’t want to use it as an excuse, but we are going to take some time to learn. And when this group figures it out, our starting point and ending point will be two different places.”
The Heat won 3-0 (25-19,25-22,25-20) on Friday. Hillary Howe led the team with 10 kills while Rachel Flink had a team-high 17 digs.
Saturday saw the teams split the first two sets with the Heat winning 25-20 and TWU prevailing 25-22. But the visitors won sets three and four 25-21 and 25-22, respectively.
Howe led the Spartans with 16 kills on Saturday while Brie O’Reilly had three service aces.
Both Spartan teams are off this weekend, returning to action Nov. 10 and 11 when they play at Brandon.