Spartans climb to top spot in country

Trinity Western women's volleyball readies for showdown against co-No. 1 UBC Okanagan Heat

Two more victories not only improved the Trinity Western Spartans women’s volleyball team’s record to 17-1, but it also vaulted them into a share of top spot in the most recent national rankings.

The Spartans won 3-0 ( 25-11,25-20,25-15) and 3-1 (25-17,28-26,17-25,25-15) over the weekend in Winnipeg against the Manitoba Bisons.

“It’s always tough to come into someone else’s gym and get two wins. Full credit to Manitoba as they made some adjustments tonight that put a little more pressure on us and made us really work for it,” said TWU coach Ryan Hofer.

“With that, I think the team dug themselves into a couple of holes and it really tested their mental fortitude.”

The second victory came on the strength of 16 service aces and a .233 hitting percentage. Sophie Carpentier led the Langley visitors with 17 kills and 12 digs while Elly Wendel put up 14 kills and four aces for the visitors.

Nikki Cornwall had 40 assists and 13 digs while Kristin Anton had four blocks and five aces.

In Friday’s victory, Wendel had 17 kills and five aces while Carpentier had 16 kills.

The Spartans are off this week and they will host the second-place UBC Okanagan Heat — who share the No. 1 ranking with TWU — in a pair of games at the Langley Events Centre on Feb. 5 and 6.

•••

One night after knocking off the third-ranked Manitoba Bisons, the Trinity Western Spartans men’s volleyball team could not complete the sweep.

TWU fell 3-0 (25-16,25-23,25-16) to fall to 9-9 on the season.

The Spartans had won 3-1 (25-20,28-26,21-25,25-23) the night before.

“It was a tough one tonight and the guys looked pretty flat,” said Spartans coach Ben Josephson. “When you beat a good team, you expect a great response and I think we saw that from Manitoba and obviously we didn’t have the right mindset to deal with the intensity that they brought to that match.

“I thought it was a good lesson on how hard you need to focus on the details to earn some tough points. We talked a lot about what the playoff feel is like and this had a playoff feel. We took the first swing last night and they swung back today.”

The Spartans attack was led by Blake Scheerhoorn — 20 kills on Friday and 11 on Saturday — and Ryan Sclater (14 kills and 12 kills, respectively).

The team is off this week before hosting UBC Okanagan Heat on Feb. 5 and 6.

 

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