LANGLEY, British Columbia – The No. 7 Trinity Western women’s volleyball team completed a weekend sweep of the No. 2 Winnipeg Wesmen with a 3-0 (25-22, 25-18, 25-18) win Saturday at the Langley Events Centre.
After rallying from a five-point deficit to win the opening set, the Spartans were dominant in the middle stages of both the second and third sets, holding the Wesmen to a -.025 hitting percentage for the match, en route to an impressive sweep.
The Spartans were led by Kelci French, who had seven kills, seven assists and six digs, Alicia Perrin, who had six kills, two blocks and a service ace and Nicole Bazin, who had a game-high four blocks to go along with three kills.
Winnipeg was led by Alicia Perry, who had a team-high six kills and three blocks, Carleen Kruschel, who had five kills, 11 digs and two aces, and Lauren Sears, who had five kills and an ace, the latter of which gave her the Canada West single season record for aces in a season with 38.
The win improves Trinity Western to 10-4 on the season while the loss drops Winnipeg to 12-4.
“I thought we played really well,” said Spartans coach Ryan Hofer. “I thought we executed our game plan. We made the right things happen. My setters did a great job of distributing the ball and it was nice to come out with another win. Winnipeg is a good team and to be able to come away with a sweep is good.
“I think our serving got them into a little trouble. I think we found the right people and we blocked well, which forced them to make really tough shots to score.”
Winnipeg took the lead early in the first set as they opened a 110-4 advantage, which forced the Spartans into taking a timeout. Out of the timeout however, Trinity Western got three straight points to close to gap to two points at 110-7. But the Wesmen came right back with pressure as they extended their lead to five points, 16-11, by the technical timeout.
But shortly after the break, the Spartans started buzzing. Trailing 17-12, the Spartans switched French over to the setting position and, with Perrin at the serving line, went on a 10-0 run.
With the Spartans up 24-1110, the Wesmen made a late run to get as close as two points but an Amy Leschied kill capped the Spartans rally, earning the home side a 25-22 win.
In the second set, Trinity Western staked itself to a quick 4-1 lead, after a French ace, and took that early advantage all the way to 25 points.
Continuing to ride the hot hand of French, who switched back to a hitting position and had four kills in the set, the Spartans pulled away in the middle stages, opening up as much as a seven-point lead, 18-11.
From there, Trinity Western and Winnipeg traded points as the Spartans took the set 25-18 after a Leschied kill.
The Spartans got off to a quick start in the third set as they built a 7-4 lead, following back-to-back Chelsea Hudson and Bazin combined blocks. However, the Wesmen turned things around in short order as they went on a 7-1 run with a Kruschell ace giving Winnipeg an 11-8 lead and forcing the Spartans into a timeout.
Out of the timeout, the Spartans went on a 5-0 run to reestablish a lead at 13-11. From there, the Wesmen got to within one point, at 15-14, but a subsequent 5-1 run from Trinity Western gave the Spartans all they would need to capture the set.
With Bazin and French combining for the set and match-winning block, the Spartans handed the Wesmen a 25-18 third set defeat.
Both teams will be back in action next weekend as the Spartans will travel to play Manitoba while the Wesmen will host UBC, both Jan. 27-28.
Game Notes – TWU finished with six blocks to Winnipeg’s four…TWU hit .148 to Winnipeg’s -.025…Winnipeg had five aces to TWU’s three.