TWU Spartans Rallies to Beat Winnipeg

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November 25, 2012, WINNIPEG (ISN) – The No.2 Trinity Western men’s volleyball team avenged Friday night’s loss by defeating the Winnipeg Wesmen 3-2 (26-24, 22-25, 21-25, 27-25, 15-11) in a marathon match Saturday night at the Duckworth Centre.

After Winnipeg beat the Spartans in four sets Friday night, TWU earned the weekend split with the win Saturday and improve to 8-2. Winnipeg drops below the .500 mark with a record of 4-5.

Brad Kufske (Abbotsford, B.C.) led the Spartans with a match high 17 kills and 17 digs. Steven Marshall (Abbotsford) had 14 kills and Nick Del Bianco (Surrey, B.C.) had 13 kills, while Lucas Van Berkel (Edmonton) led the Spartans at the net with eight blocks. Libero John Wiebe (Abbotsford) had 17 digs. After sitting out Friday’s game, middle Dan Jansen Van Doorn (Langley) had seven kills and seven blocks

The Wesmen were led by the duo of Matt Stubler and Tom Douglas-Powell, each finishing with 16 kills. Casey Schouten finished with 12 kills and 15 digs. Setter Josh McKay had 50 assists to go with his 15 digs. Brendan Black was in on six blocks.

“It was a really gutty win on the road,” said Spartans coach Ben Josephson. “We earned the split in a city that hasn’t been too kind to us in terms of wins and losses. At 8-2, with one weekend left in this semester, we’re pretty pleased with how we’re positioned. But there are a lot of things we have to adjust from this weekend.

“We had a good start and then struggled through the second and third sets. Then in the fourth, with a couple good plays at the end, I felt we kind of stole the set. But in the fifth, we got off to a great start and rolled to the win after that.”

The Spartans came out of the gate strong and took a quick 6-1 lead in the first set. But the Wesmen battled all the way back and had a chance at set-point at 24-23. But with three straight points from TWU, including two kills from Kufske, the Spartans rallied to win 26-24.

In the second set, the game was tied 22-22 when Winnipeg scored three straight points, two on Spartans attacking errors, to take the set 25-22.

The third set had the Wesmen out in front from start to finish and with a Douglas-Powell kill, Winnipeg went up 2-1 with a 25-21 win.

A battle for the ages took place in the fourth set. Winnipeg held a 16-15 lead at the technical break and later on, after a Stubler kill and an attacking error by the Spartans, Winnipeg led 22-20. Trinity Western responded by scoring three straight points to lead 23-22. The teams exchanged points up until 25-25 but that’s when the set came to an end in the Spartans favor. With a kill by Derek Thiessen (Coquitlam, B.C.), followed by a Wesmen error, the Spartans won 27-25.

In the fifth set the Spartans jumped out to a 10-6 lead but the Wesmen scored three points in a row to cut that advantage to 10-9. The comeback fell short as the Spartans scored five of the final seven points to win the deciding set 15-11.

The Spartans will be on the road next weekend against UBC Okanagan. Winnipeg will play the Brandon Bobcats in a home and home series beginning Thursday night in Brandon and returning to Winnipeg on Saturday night.

Game Notes: TWU hit .225 while Winnipeg was .223…TWU out-blocked Winnipeg 15.5-11.

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