TWU kept chipping away at leads to win all three sets against the Calgary Dinos Saturday at the Langley Events Centre.
The Trinity Western University Spartans completed a perfect 11-0 regular season Saturday at the Langley Events Centre.
But they had to work hard to do it.
The No. 2-ranked university women's volleyball team in Canada needed a comeback of at least five points in each set to earn a hard fought three-set sweep of the Calgary Dinos.
Set scores were 27-25, 29-27, and 25-21.
The win improves the Spartans to 18-2 on the season while the loss drops Calgary to 9-11.
Trinity Western has locked up second place in the Canada West conference while the Dinos remain in a battle for the seventh and final playoff position.
With the Dinos up 19-14 in the second set, the Spartan substituted in setter Lauren Moncks, replacing Kelci French, which sparked the home side. With Moncks setting, TWU scored four straight points and launched what would result in a 29-27 comeback win. Moncks remained in the game in the third set and, with 16 assists and four digs, helped TWU win the set and the match.
The Spartans were down 14-9 in the first, 19-14 in the second and 14-9 in the third but rallied each time to earn wins.
Offensively, TWU was led by Alicia Perrin, who had 13 kills and tied a career-high in aces with four. She has now earned four aces in a match five different times. After Perrin, it was Amy Ott with 11 kills while Amber Brown had eight kills and 17 digs. Libero Kristen Moncks had a team-high 17 digs.
For the Dinos, it was Surrey native Lindsay Russell with a team-high 10 kills to go with 11 digs. Libero Brooke Halvorsen, from White Rock, had a match-high 19 digs in a losing effort.
"We were scrappy tonight," Spartans' coach Ryan Hofer said, following the victory. "There were times I didn't think a win was something we were earning out there by our performance, but we got gritty when it mattered. We started clawing back and we put some pressure on Calgary with our serve, which gave us a little bit of breathing room and we took it at the end.
"We gave Lauren an opportunity and she played outstanding. She delivered the ball. She blocked. She picked up some digs and just gave Kelci a bit of a breather. It's nice to have that depth to be able to do that."
Like the previous two sets, the Spartans had to claw from behind to win the decisive set.
Calgary went up by five, at 14-9, only to have TWU stage a comeback. The Spartans responded with an 8-2 run - one that included a pair of kills from first-year Sophie Carpentier, who was substituted mid-set - to take a 17-16 advantage. After Calgary came back to take a 21-20 edge, a kill by Brown sparked a 5-0 run from TWU that earned the Spartans the set and the match. An emphatic kill from Perrin put the finishing touches on the match.
"I think I just brought some energy to the game," Moncks said. "Knowing that we needed to dig in and chip away at their lead, I was just looking to provide a bit of a spark. And it worked. My team really supported me and that made it easier."
The Spartans honoured their seniors Amy Ott, Nicole Bazin and Amber Brown, who were playing their final regular season home games.