LANGLEY, British Columbia – The Trinity Western women’s volleyball team earned it second win over Regina in as many nights, knocking off the Cougars 3-0 (25-23, 25-23, 25-22) Saturday at the Langley Events Centre.
The Spartans led pretty much the whole way in the first two sets but in the third set had to rally late to get the sweep in what was a tightly-contested match from start to finish.
Trinity Western was led by Amy Leschied, who had 11 kills and eight digs, Kelci French, who had five kills, 16 digs and four blocks, and Royal Richardson, who had eight kills and six digs.
The Cougars Roxanne Olynyk had a team-high 10 kills while Solveig Nilson had five kills and six blocks.
The win improves the Spartans record to 4-2 on the season while the loss drops the Cougars to 2-6.
“I like coming away with a sweep. It’s tough to do in Canada West so no question I’m happy about that,” said Spartans coach Ryan Hofer. “I think we played with some decent composure. The games were a little tighter tonight and in the end I think we just made some plays and forced Regina to make some mistakes.
“This was really big. Canada West is so tight this year that I think everybody is going to be fighting for every win they can get to make it to playoffs.”
The Spartans got off to a quick start in the opening set as they opened a 7-4 lead thanks to a pair of early kills from Friday night’s kill leader Richardson.
From there, Trinity Western extended its lead to as large as five points at 11-6 before the Cougars started to garner some momentum for the first time in the contest.
Regina battle back to make it 17-17 but the Spartans never allowed the visitors to take a lead.
After Hofer called a timeout, Trinity Western went on a 4-0 run that gave the Spartans a 21-17 advantage.
Following a well-timed dump from Spartans setter Chelsea Hudson, Trinity Western pushed its lead to 23-18 lead. But a scrappy Regina side wouldn’t give up the set easily as they went on a 5-1 run to make it 24-23. That’s as close as the Cougars would get though as an error on the Regina side gave Trinity Western the set.
The start of the second frame was a near mirror image of the first set as the Spartans once again took an early 7-4 lead.
But despite the Spartans possessing a lead from start to finish, they were unable to shake a determined Cougars bunch.
The Spartans Leschied made it 21-19 for the home side with a big kill but each time Trinity Western extended its lead to two points, the Cougars responded with a point of their own to close the gap. Unfortunately for Regina, while they got to within one point at 23-22, after a block from Chelsea Ziolkowski, and at 24-23, after an Olynyk kill, they couldn’t climb any closer and a Richardson kill attempt went off a Regina block and out of bounds to give Trinity Western a 25-23 win.
Neither team was particularly effective on the attack in the second set as the Cougars had a .054 efficiency and the Spartans had a .031 efficiency. It was also a struggle for both teams from the service line as Regina had six serving errors and Trinity Western had four.
In the third set, Regina started strong and this time it was the Cougars taking a 7-4 lead following a tandem block from Nilson and Tiffany Herman.
Much like the Spartans did in the first two sets, Regina didn’t pull away but, at the same time, they didn’t allow Trinity Western to gain a lead.
The Spartans tied it 11-11 but not long after found themselves down again 17-14.
But that’s when Trinity Western cultivated its first bit of flow in the set.
While the Spartans were forced to continually battle back, while trailing 22-21, they finally broke through.
Trinity Western tied the game 22-22 on a Regina attack error and then earned the next three points as they took the game and the match.
After a poor second set in terms of hitting percentage, the difference in the third set was the Spartans improved attack as they hit .235. Regina was .061 in the third.
Both teams are back in action next weekend as the Spartans will host UBC-Okanagan at the Langley Events Centre while the Cougars will host Brandon.
Games Notes – The Spartans hit .160 on the night while Regina hit .085…Regina had seven blocks while TWU had six…both teams had three service aces…TWU had 47 digs to Regina’s 34.