TWU volleyball: Spartans earn home playoff date

Trinity Western's Rudy Verhoeff, pictured in a match earlier this season, finished with a combined 31 kills over the weekend as the Spartans split against the host Brandon Bobcats.

The Trinity Western Spartans ensured themselves of a home playoff date after splitting with the host Brandon Bobcats.

The Spartans (11-5) won the first match 3-1 (23-25,25-21,25-23,25-19), while Brandon (8-8) took the second 3-1 (28-26,25-20,19-25,25-16) in a potential playoff match-up.

In Friday’s victory, the Spartans used a 15-to-4 edge in blocks to overcome the early deficit.

“Our middles and our passing was the difference between winning and losing,” said Trinity Western coach Ben Josephson.

“The guys’ hard work over the last two weeks getting ready for this type of match in the areas of our focus and out identity paid off in a pressure type environment.

He said the match felt like a playoff game, which excited his team.

Rudy Verhoeff led the way with a team-high 15 kills, whole Josh Doornenbal added a dozen kills and Lucas Van Berkel finished with 11. Van Berkel also added two service aces and eight blocks.

Josephson was also impressed by the play of middle Dan Jansen Van Doorn, who opened up a lot of opportunities for the team’s wings.

Saturday’s match was marked by offensive struggles, as the team failed to hit over 25 per cent in any of the four sets. They finished at just 16 per cent efficiency, down from their season average of 25.8 per cent.

“We just spent too much time gathering ourselves and by the time the fourth set rolled around, we didn’t have enough gas left,” Josephson said. “It is disappointing, we came out here looking for a sweep and a stranglehold on third place.”

Verhoeff had 16 kills, eight digs and four blocks, while Doornenbal had 11 kills and four blocks to lead the team.

Ben Ball finished with 91 set assists over the two matches.

“We had the same issues tonight that we have been struggling with all season, but we have seen notable progression and improvement in those areas, so we are pleased with the progression we are seeing,” Josephson said. “We are just a little anxious as we would like to see it happen a little quicker than it is.

“Overall, we are moving forward, which is where you want to be at this time of year.”

The Spartans, ranked fourth in the country, close the regular season with a pair of matches against the fifth-ranked Manitoba Bisons at the Langley Events Centre. The teams play Friday at 8 p.m. and Saturday at 7 p.m.

Both teams are 11-5 and tied for third place in Canada West.

Trinity Western will host a best-of-three Canada West playoff series from Feb. 18-20, with the winner advancing to the Canada West final four championships.

The Spartans are guaranteed a spot at the Canadian Interuniversity Sport national championships March 3-6 as the host team.

Just Posted

Canadian Museum of Flight volunteer was there from the beginning

Fond memories as the Langley aviation history exhibition readies for the holidays

TransLink reveals new plans for proposed Surrey-Langley SkyTrain

No cost estimates, but the Fraser Highway line is expected to open by 2025

VIDEO: Giants earn seventh straight win while playing at Pacific Coliseum

G-Men return home for their next game at the Langley Events Centre Friday against the Silvertips.

VIDEO: Celebrity Christmas food and toy drive in Langley

Annual event helps families and abuse victims

VIDEO: This B.C. school leads country in vaccine donations to UNICEF

Federally funded Kids Boost Immunity uses quizzes to earn vaccinations

Break-in at home of detained Chinese Huawei executive

Meng Wanzhou was detained in Vancouver on America’s request

5 to start your day

TransLink reveals new plans for proposed Surrey-Langley SkyTrain, 81-year-old woman waits 90 minutes for a taxi in Pitt Meadows and more

Natural gas rates will go up in B.C. on Jan. 1

Regions could pay up to $68 more

Top House Dems raise prospect of impeachment, jail for Trump

It could be an “impeachable offense” if it’s proven that President Donald Trump directed illegal hush-money payments to women during the 2016 campaign.

Macron addresses France amid protests; is it too late?

Paris monuments reopened, cleanup workers cleared debris and shop owners tried to put the city on its feet again Sunday.

CUPE calls off Flair Airlines job action citing job security concerns

The union says it’s going to challenge Flair’s move at the Canada Industrial Relations Board before proceeding with any job action.

Trump looking at several candidates for new chief of staff

Trump’s top pick for the job, Nick Ayers, is out of the running and Trump is now soliciting input on at least four individuals.

Canadian physicist collects Nobel Prize

Canada’s Donna Strickland is one of three winners of this year’s Nobel Prize for Physics.

Most Read