The No. 2-ranked Trinity Western University Spartans used a balanced attack to sweep the University of Calgary Dinos 25-20, 28-26, and 25-20 in Canada West women’s volleyball action Saturday night at the Jack Simpson gymnasium in Calgary.
The weekend sweep keeps the Spartans in first place in Canada West, with a 15-1 record. The two losses push the Dinos down a spot. They currently sit seventh in the standings with a 6-10 record.
Setter Nikki Cornwall led the Spartans’ attack with 42 set assists as four Spartans finished the night with at least nine kills. Sophie Carpentier with 13 kills, Elizabeth Wendel with 11 kills and 11 digs, Rowyn Neufeld with 10 kills and Katelyn Devaney with nine kills and a team high eight blocks led the Spartans. While on the Dinos side Laura McManes with nine kills, and seven digs and Beth Vinnell with six kills led the Calgary attack with setter Erika Myhre finishing the evening with 21 set assists.
The first set saw both teams making early mistakes, gifting easy points to their opponent. With the score tied at 8, an ace from Myhre gave the Dinos a 9-8 lead. But as the set went on, some strong blocking pulled the Spartans ahead. TWU would lead 16-12 at the technical break before taking the opening set 25-20.
The second set was much more even, with the score tied 10 times throughout the set. Myhre’s strong serving and some powerful hitting from McManes gave the Dinos a 16-15 lead going into the technical timeout.
The set, which could have gone either way, with the score later tied at 18, 19, and 23.
Then, with the set tied at 26 TWU’s Carpentier scored back-to-back kills to give the Spartans the second set 28-26.
The third set started off much more one-sided than the second, with the Spartans going up 8-3. After a Calgary time-out, the Dinos’ defence improved. The home side then went on a five-point serving run to make the score 10-8. But that was about the closest the Dinos would come in the third. The Spartans continued to keep the narrow lead, leading 12-9, 13-11 and 16-13 going into the technical.
After the break the Spartans would go on a 4-1 run to take a 20-14 lead before finishing of the match and the set 25-20. Wendel was the set’s stand-out player, earning seven kills in the third set.
The Spartans will continue their Canada West road trip next weekend when they travel to Winnipeg to take on the University of Manitoba Bisons on Friday and Saturday Jan. 22 and 23.
The Dinos’ season will continue next weekend with two home matches against the Grant MacEwan University Griffins.
Match Notes: the Spartans had an impressive blocking night as they finished with a 12 to 5.5 edge in team blocks…TWU finished the night hitting at .297 percent, while Calgary finished at .140 percent… the Spartans have not lost on the road since Jan. 23, 2015, 3-2 at UBC…TWU has gone 38-2 over their last 40 matches…