TWU will host a Canada West quarter-final series at the Langley Events Centre Feb. 14-16.
The Trinity Western University men's volleyball team will be defending home court to open the Canada West playoffs.
The Spartans clinched a home playoff date for the CW quarter-finals following their three-set sweep over the visiting Calgary Dinos Saturday at the Langley Events Centre.
Set scores were 25-21, 25-22, and 28-26.
The win improves TWU's record to 15-5 on the season and ensures the Spartans will host a best-of-three opening round series Feb. 14-16 at the LEC.
Calgary drops to 6-14 and is officially eliminated from playoff contention.
In a game that saw both teams hit less than .100 in both the second and third sets, the Spartans managed to pull out the win despite 21 attack errors and 12 serving errors. Calgary countered with 20 attack errors and 11 serving errors.
Defensively, the Spartans were led by John Wiebe, who tied his own Spartans record for digs in a three-set match with 19. Wiebe also had 19 digs in a match against Winnipeg Nov. 27, 2010. Prior to Saturday's game, no Spartan had earned more than eight digs in a three-set match this season.
On the offence, it was Nick Del Bianco leading the Spartans with 15 kills, including eight in the first set alone. Steven Marshall added 12 kills while Dan Jansen Van Doorn led the home team with seven blocks. Lucas Van Berkel had five blocks.
Calgary was led by Greg Mann who had a team-high 15 kills to go with seven digs.
On a night when the Spartans honoured their four graduating seniors, the group, which included Steven Marshall, Jarrod Offereins, Dan Jansen Van Doorn and John Wiebe, combined for 15 kills, 33 assists, 32 digs and 12 blocks.
"I'm just happy for the seniors that we got a win and secured a home berth in the playoffs," said Spartans coach Ben Josephson. "All the seniors' friends and families were here and the guys found a way to win the match."
Josephson described the game as "weird."
"We had some odd bounces. Our opponents were scrappy and never let us build momentum by getting aces or roof blocks early on," the bench boss said. "It was hard to get some momentum going. It was a bit of dead night so, given the environment, I thought our guys played well."
The third and decisive set saw TWU take a 7-4 lead and, from there, hold an advantage the rest of the way.
With TWU up 12-9, the Spartans went on a 4-1 run, capped by a Del Bianco kill, to go into the technical timeout with a six-point lead, 16-10. But Calgary fought back, getting to within one point, at 23-22, after a Connor Frehlich kill. Then, after staving off two match points, Calgary tied the set 24-24. Then, twice more, the Dinos avoided losing match point, at 25-24 and 26-25. But finally, on the Spartans fifth crack at match point, TWU took the set 28-26 after a Dinos' attack error.
The Spartans are on the road for the final weekend of the regular season as they travel to play Alberta this Thursday and Friday (Feb. 8-9).
With a balanced attack that saw five players earn at least five kills, and a dominant serving game, the Spartans knocked off unranked Calgary in three straight sets Friday at the LEC.
Set scores were 25-18, 25-19, and 25-21.
After losing three straight at home, all of which were in five sets, the Spartans broke out of their funk in decisive fashion as they hit .395 for the match and managed 11 aces.
The Spartans were led by Marshall who had 12 kills and just one error for a .579 hitting percentage. Marshall also had five digs and two blocks.
Del Bianco had eight kills, six digs and tied his career-high in aces with five, while Brad Kufske added nine kills and a career-high four aces. Setter Jarrod Offereins had a match-high 32 assists and five digs and libero Tyler Koslowsky had a match-high 10 digs.
Del Bianco earned five aces earlier this year against Saskatchewan on Nov. 17 while Kufske's previous high for aces was three, which he has earned three times.
"I was really worried about some of their float servers, but we handled those guys better than I was expecting," Josephson said. "We have to give credit to our serve receivers for doing a good job. I thought our hitters were efficient and they made good choices on tougher sets. I thought we had our opponents on their heels and got a couple of cheeky kills because of it, which kept our efficiency higher than usual. I thought our hitters took what was there and that's all you can ask.
@ Copyright 2013