January 9, Langley, BC (ISN) – The No. 2 Trinity Western men’s volleyball team will look to continue its home dominance this weekend as it takes on the No. 7 Brandon Bobcats in a rematch of the 2011 CIS championship game
Thursday at 8 p.m. and Saturday at 2:30 p.m. at the Langley Events Centre. Both games will be streamed live at www.canadawest.tv.
The Spartans, who are 10-2 on the season, are 5-0 at home this year defeating UBC once and sweeping both Thompson Rivers and Saskatchewan.
Last year, the Spartans travelled to Brandon in early-November where they defeated the Bobcats both nights, 3-0 and 3-1.
TRINITY WESTERN SPARTANS (10-2)
CIS ranking: No. 2
Canada West position: 2nd
Last Weekend: UBC-O 3-1 W, 3-2 W
Streak: 3 wins
2011-12 Canada West record: 19-1 (1st)
2012 playoffs: 2-0 (1st)
2012 CIS tournament: 3-0 (1st)
The Spartans are back at the LEC this weekend as they look to start the second semester on a winning note against a Brandon side that sits just two points behind them in the standings. And with only 10 games remaining, each and every match down the stretch will be crucial as the Spartans look to secure home court advantage in the playoffs.
For the first time since early preseason, the Spartans will have their full roster healthy and ready to go. After being plagued by injuries for much of the first semester, the Spartans were forced to look to new players to step up and perform and it was players like setter Scott Plocktis (Kelowna, B.C.), Brandon Schmidt (Winton, Alta.), Derek Theissen (Coquitlam, B.C.), and Ryan Sclater (Port Coquitlam), who did just that, as their efforts were key to the Spartans fall success.
It will be interesting to see how coach Ben Josephson assembles his lineup this weekend as, regardless of who he puts out on the floor Thursday night, one can be sure to expect many substitutions and different looks as the weekend progresses.
The Spartans have once again been a team that is very hard to score against. They currently lead the league in digs, with 12.38 per set (1st in CW), and have also put up 2.59 blocks per set (4th). With the Spartans possessing these two valuable elements, combined with aggressive serving – they currently lead CW with 1.58 aces per set – TWU has been a challenging team to play against all season.
Individually, Dan Jansen Van Doorn (Langley, B.C.) has been a force at the net as he leads the team in blocks with 1.23 per set (5th). From the baseline the Spartans have been led by the deadly float serve of Lucas Van Berkel (Edmonton), serving 0.38 aces per set (tied for 1st). Nick Del Bianco (Surrey, B.C.) currently leads the team with 3.32 kills per set (5th) and total points, with 3.84 per set (6th).
The last time the Spartans lost to Brandon at home was November 3, 2007, at the David E. Enarson Gymnasium.