The Trinity Western University men’s volleyball team is on a 15-match winning streak. TWU Athletics photo

TWU roundup: Spartans men’s volleyball rolling along, hockey streak snapped

TWU teams experienced mixed results over the weekend

It’s been a season for the ages for the Trinity Western University Spartans men’s volleyball team.

The nationally No. 2-ranked Spartans extended their win streak to a program-best 15 consecutive matches Saturday night, completing a weekend sweep of the 10th-ranked University of Calgary Dinos with a 3-1 win in the Jack Simpson Gym.

Scores were 25-22, 18-25, 25-23, and 25-9.

Led by Eric Loeppky’s 22-kill performance, the Spartans out-scored the Dinos by a nearly 8-to-5 margin, with 63 team kills against the Dinos’ 44 as the visitors improved to 19-1 on the season.

The Dinos drop their sixth match in a row, falling to 10-10 on the year.

The second set was the highlight for the Dinos, who were firing on all cylinders, hitting nearly 48 per cent as a team as they bounced back from a tight 25-22 first set loss to take the second 25-18.

The third was neck-and-neck throughout, with the Dinos leading at 17-16 – but a 6-1 run by the Spartans at that point made it 22-18 and they were able to edge the hometown team for the 25-23 win.

The fourth set was all Trinity Western as they jumped out to leads of 6-1, 9-2, and 13-3 as Calgary had no answer for the backrow attack. Middle Pearson Eshenko got into the action in a big way during the fourth set for TWU posting several of his seven kills on the night, and they cruised to a 25-9 win.

Loeppky was a major factor for the Spartans once again, hitting 43.6 per cent to rack up his 22 kills.

Freshman Jesse Elser added 16 kills in an efficient performance, while Jacob Kern also cracked double digits with his 12-kill evening.

Trinity Western faces archrival UBC in a home-and-home series next weekend in a battle that could very well decide first place in Canada West.

TWU women’s basketball

The nationally No. 10-ranked Spartans will finish third in Canada West after earning a 68-54 victory over the MacEwan Griffins Saturday night in Edmonton.

The victory gives the Spartans a program best 16 wins as TWU finishes 16-4 in conference play.

The loss finishes the Griffins season with a 4-16 record.

TWU finishes the season with the same record as Victoria, but the Spartans get second place based on the better RPI.

Tessa Ratzlaff led TWU with 22 points and seven boards while shooting 10-14.

Playing in her final conference game Kayla Gordon had another double-double with 13 points, and 10 rebounds to go with three steals, while Jessie Brown=added 12 points.

MacEwan had their best quarter of the night in the fourth, as they outscored TWU 20-13 in the final 10 minutes.

“We had to battle hard tonight but that’s exactly what we need at this point in the season. It’s hard to replicate playoff intensity in training but MacEwan played with so much heart that we had to play strong all the way through,” TWU head coach Cheryl Jean-Paul said. “There are definitely a few things we will have to work on but the discipline and mindset we played with will serve us well moving into the next few weeks. This has been a tremendous regular season and the hard work this group has put in since day one has gotten us to a defining moment in our program’s history.”

With her 22 points versus MacEwan, Ratzlaff finishes the season with 367 points and passes former Spartan Taylor Stuart, (349 in 2005-06) for second place on the TWU single season scoring record.

Holly Strom holds the TWU record of 422, which she set in 2015-16 season.

TWU men’s hockey

The Spartans saw their B.C. Intercollegiate Hockey League 11-game winning streak come to an end after falling 5-3 Saturday to the Simon Fraser Clan.

The loss drops the first place Spartans to 16-4, while the third place Clan improve to 12-6-0-1.

Spartans head coach Barret Kropf said his team were unable to shake off the rust that came from a lengthy break.

“It was a good game. After the long break we just didn’t have our usual chemistry and we really could not get going,” Kropf said. “Credit to Simon Fraser — they were very opportunistic and took advantage of our turnovers. Now that the winning streak is off of our backs we can focus in on the smaller details and get ready for the games down the back end of our schedule.”

The Spartans trailed 1-0 after the first period on a goal by SFU’s Robert Izsak at 17:08.

The Clan had a slight 8-7 edge in shots over the Spartans.

TWU’s Elijah Vilio tied the game up at 14:27 of the second period.

Just over seven minutes later Vilio got his second of the night on a power play goal at 7:15 to put TWU up 2-1. The Spartans ended the period with a 9-6 edge in shots and a 2-1 lead.

But the early going of the third period belonged to the Clan, who exploded for three goals in eight minutes.

Goals came from Brendan Lamont, Mathew Berry-Lamontagna, and Jaret Babych put SFU ahead 4-2 with 9:15 remaining in the final period.

Florian Niedermaier got the Spartans to within one goal with a power play marker with 2:55 but the Clan shut down the Spartans with an empty net goal with 35 seconds remaining.

TWU’s Silas Matthys made 22 saves in the loss, while SFU’s Lyndon Stanwood made 20 saves to earn the win.

The Spartans face the Eastern Washington Eagles on Friday, Feb. 9.

The game will be played at the Aldergrove Community Arena, with puck drop set for 7 p.m.

TWU men’s basketball

Trinity Western dropped its final game of the seasonm 107-101 in overtime to the MacEwan Griffins Saturday night in Edmonton.

The win means the Griffins will finish the season at 5-15 – not a playoff record.

TWU will also miss the post-season after finishing at 3-17.

Two of their wins came on the final two weekends, including a 97-88 triumph over the Griffins on Friday.

Ryan Coleman led the Griffins with 21 points and seven rebounds in a workhorse 40 minutes on the floor that finally ended when he was subbed out to a standing ovation with 29 seconds remaining.

Once the game got to OT tied 92-92, MacEwan just took over, specifically leading scorer Ali Raza, who scored nine of his 19 points in the extra frame.

MacEwan was somehow able to fight off one of the hottest-shooting games by anyone in Canada West this season as fourth-year TWU guard Vartan Tanielian scored 38 points, shooting 13 of 22 from the field and draining six-of-10 three-point attempts. He added four rebounds, five assists and two steals.

“I’m proud of Vartan,” said Spartans head coach Aaron Muhic. “He’s come a long way. He’s really been patient all year with his shot selection. I’m very happy he was able to end the season that way.”

TWU track and field

Trinity Western’s Rachel Jeromeearned a pair of top three finishes at Washington State University’s Cougar Indoor Meet, as she won the long jump competition with a mark of 5.51m and was third in the 60m, clocking a time of 7.85 Saturday.

Jerome’s 60m time is a season’s best, as she previously posted a time of 7.87 two weeks ago at the Washington State Open. Her 5.51m is two centimetres shy of her season’s best mark of 5.53m.

On the track, TWU’s Mowa Adeleye was second in the 60m hurdles in 8.87 seconds. Meanwhile, Grace Konrad was third in the 400m with a time of 1:00.57 and Claire Noort finished third in the 800m in 2:28.28.

On the men’s side, Langley’s James Lam led the charge with a first-place finish in the mile, with a time of 4:15.68 on the 200m track, while Levi Neufeld was second in 4:16.44.

Another Langley athlete, Aidan Kits, was second in the 600m in 1:23.70.

A day after setting the Spartans triple jump record, Denzel Brown was third in long jump with a mark of 6.69m.

Chris Weiss as third in the heptathlon, with 4,339 points.

The Spartans 4x400m team that featured Adam Marshall, Tyler de Jong, Lam and Neufeld, was second in 3:29.11

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