LANGLEY, British Columbia (ISN) – The No. 3 ranked Trinity Western women’s volleyball team advanced to the Canada West Final Four as the Spartans won their first round playoff series with Calgary 2-0, completing the sweep with a 3-0 (25-22, 25-17, 25-20) win Friday at the Langley Events Centre.
Led by Alicia Perrin, who had a game-high 10 kills and six blocks, the Spartans were strong throughout as they out-blocked the Dinos nine to four and had a .189 hitting percentage compared to Calgary’s .084. But despite the Spartans taking all three sets, they were far from dominant as it took a strong finishes in all three to pull away from the Dinos each time in the late stages.
The Spartans will now play in the Final Four Feb. 23-25 at UBC.
After Perrin, it was Amy Leschied with another strong night for the Spartans as she had nine kills, two aces and two blocks while Kelci French had four kills, nine assists, three blocks and seven digs and Nicole Bazin contributed four kills and three blocks.
For Calgary, it was Courtney Dawson leading the way with six kills and four aces – all of which came in a second set serving run in which she dropped four in a row on the Spartans – while Melanie Miazga had five kills and two blocks and Lindsey Doland had four kills, two blocks and six digs.
“I’m thrilled for the girls and I’m excited with how they played,” said Spartans coach Ryan Hofer. “They maintained their composure throughout the weekend. They had to fight some tough battles there and I thought they did a really good job. I thought we connected well with our middles. I thought we figured out some things in regards to our passing and I think the biggest component that helped us is how we served.”
The opening set got off to a topsy-turvy start as the teams went back and forth until the very late stages.
Calgary opened the biggest lead of the set for either team when the Dinos built a 15-12 lead but it was not to last long as the Spartans scored four of the next five points and, after a Calgary attack error, tied the set 16-16.
After a block from Ali Sandholm and Sarah Lacny gave Calgary a lead a 17-16, the Spartans started to take over. With the set tied 18-18 a kill and an ace from Leschied gave Trinity Western a two-point lead. Calgary got to within one point twice more but after a Dinos serving error gave the Spartans a 22-20 lead, Trinity Western clamped down. Back-to-back blocks from setter Chelsea Hudson and Perrin gave the Spartans a 24-20 lead and then, after Calgary responded with one, a Perrin kill gave the home side the first set.
In the second set, the Spartans broke things open early when they took a 6-5 deficit and turned it into a 12-6 lead after a 7-0 run, which was led by Perrin, who had two blocks and two kills.
However, the Dinos responded with a 5-0 run of their own, thanks to four straight service aces from Courtney Dawson, to reel the Spartans right back in and tie the set 12-12.
Continuing on the trend of runs, the Spartans went right back to work, opening a four-point lead with a 4-0 run as they took a 16-12 advantage into the technical timeout.
Calgary made it a two point game at 18-16 but wouldn’t get any closer.
With the score 20-16, the Spartans earned five of the last six points as both Perrin and Amber Brown had two kills each and with a Brown kill that went off the fingertips of the Calgary block and out, Trinity Western took the second set by eight, 25-17.
The third set was much like the first in that neither team was able to take any sort of distinct control until the mid to late stages.
With the score 13-12 for Trinity Western the Spartans went on a 3-1 run, completed by a Leschied kill, that gave them their first three-point edge of the set, 16-13.
However, straight out of the timeout, Calgary notched three points in a row to reset the game,16-16.
But with the game tied 17-17, Trinity Western’s Leschied launched a Spartans attack that earned them the win as Trinity Western went on an 8-3 run to take the set 25-20. In fitting fashion, given her dominance all night, it was Perrin with the game-winning kill.
Game Notes – TWU had seven aces to Calgary six…TWU had 42 digs to Calgary’s 36…TWU hit a match-high .292 in the second set.