LANGLEY, British Columbia (ISN) – The No. 3 Trinity Western women’s volleyball team took Game 1 of its best-of-three series with Calgary, winning 3-1 (25-19, 25-20, 21-25, 25-22) Thursday at the Langley Events Centre.
Riding the hot outside hands of Royal Richardson and Amy Leschied and a strong middle attack from both Alicia Perrin and Nicole Bazin, the Spartans took the first two sets with solid finishing runs and then, after dropping the third set, eked out a fourth set win with a tiebreaking 3-0 run at the end of the set to win 25-22.
Richardson led Trinity Western with 15 kills, two blocks and two aces, while Leschied had 11 kills and six digs, Perrin had six kills, five blocks and two aces and Bazin had six kills, two blocks and one ace. Setter Chelsea Hudson had 38 assists.
For Calgary, it was Sarah Monks leading the way with 11 kills, four blocks and five digs while Lindsey Doland had 10 kills, four aces and four assists and Sarah Lacny had eight kills, four blocks, two aces and seven assists.
The Spartans and Dinos will be back on the court at the Langley Events Centre Friday at 7:00 p.m. for Game 2.
“I thought we served the ball to the right people and in the right location and I think we made it tough for them to be in system tonight,” said Spartans coach Ryan Hofer. “We played with heart and we played with fight. This is playoff time and time to just fight it out. It’s two great teams playing each other and it was tight all the way along and we sneaked out a win at the end.”
After a tentative start from both sides in the opening set, the Spartans took over in the middle stages.
With the score 9-8 for Trinity Western, the home side went on a 10-3 run, capped by a Carly Hamilton kill, that gave the Spartans a 19-11 advantage.
Despite the eight-point deficit, the Dinos rallied as they closed the gap to within three points at 22-19. Unfortunately for the visitors, that would be as close as they would get. Trinity Western scored the set’s final three points and, with a Calgary attack error, took the set by six, 25-19.
In the second set, while it was much closer throughout compared to the first set, once again it was Trinity Western retaining the lead for much of the set.
After Calgary took an 11-10 lead following a Spartans attack error, Trinity Western started to roll.
The Spartans tied it up 11-11 and then Trinity Western’s Leschied took over. It was her kill who gave the Spartans a 12-11 lead and from there, Trinity Western never trailed.
After a block from Ali Sandholm got Calgary back on even terms at 13-13, Leschied once again gave Trinity Western the lead with a kill. While the Dinos kept it close until the very late stages, the Spartans were ahead the rest of the way.
After Calgary got the game to within one point, at 20-19, Trinity Western went on a 5-1 run to end the game. Leschied had four more kills down the stretch as the Spartans went on to a five-point win, 25-20.
In the third set, the Spartans came out with all the momentum as they built a 6-2 lead and then, after a Richardson kill, followed by a Perrin block, possessed a 10-5 advantage.
But then, with the Spartans still up by five at 13-8, the Dinos rallied.
With four straight Calgary points, capped by a Doland kill, the Dinos closed the gap to just one point at 13-12. Then, after the Dinos fell behind 15-13, a Melanie Miazga kill sparked another 4-0 run from Calgary, that gave the Dinos a 17-15 lead.
After that, they were never behind again. Trinity Western tied it 17-17 after a Calgary attacking error but the Dinos promptly went on a set-turning 3-0 run to give them a 20-17 advantage.
Calgary never allowed Trinity Western to get any closer than two points the rest of the way and after a Spartans attack error, the Dinos won their first set of the night 25-21.
In the fourth set, with Trinity Western trailing 5-4, a Perrin kill launched a 5-1 run, one that was capped by a Hudson ace, that give the Spartans a 9-6 edge and the set’s momentum.
The Dinos responded with a 4-1 run to tie it at 10-10 and but then, with the score at 11-11, a block by Perrin gave Trinity Western a 12-11 lead and an advantage the Spartans wouldn’t relinquish.
After a block from Bazin, Trinity Western took a four-point lead at 17-13 and looked in relative control.
Calgary wasn’t about to go down without a fight. After a Richardson kill once again put the Spartans up by four at 21-17, the never-say-die Dinos roared right back with four straight points to tie it 21-21.
But with the score tied 22-22, the Spartans closed the match out with three straight points, including a kill from Leschied to make it 24-22 and then a game-ending ace from Richardson.
Game Notes – Calgary had 11 blocks to TWU’s 7.5…Calgary had nine aces to TWU’s seven.