January 20, 2013, Langley, BC (ISN) – With a dominating performance from middle Alicia Perrin (Creston, B.C.) leading the way – one in which she tallied a career-high 19 kills.
The Trinity Western women’s volleyball team earned its second win in as many nights over Manitoba taking the match 3-1 (25-22, 26-28, 25-22, 25-16) Saturday at the Langley Events Centre.
With Perrin leading the charge, the Spartans (14-2) won their five Canada West match in a row and, through 16 conference matches, still have yet to play in a fifth set. The Bisons (7-9) have now lost four Canada West matches in a row and six of their last seven.
After collecting just two kills in Friday’s win over Manitoba, Perrin’s 19 kills bettered her previous career high of 16, which she has posted four times; most recently earlier this year against UBC Okanagan Dec. 1.
“Alicia was a little frustrated after yesterday,” said Spartans coach Ryan Hofer after Perrin. “We made a commitment to figuring out what needs to happen to make a better connection between her and (setter) Kelci (French, Okotoks, Alta.). We did a little work last night and we did a lot of talking and we made a concerted effort to make sure she got more volume today.”
Perrin added: “I was connecting way better with Kelci tonight. Last night was kind of a struggle but I feel we got our connection back, which is good. I feel I was able to play a lot better. She started setting me a lot higher, which is what I needed. I felt like I was hitting really low and I wasn’t making good choices. Kelci and I talked about it and changed a few things and it worked much better.”
After Perrin, it was Amy Ott (East Selkirk, Man.) aiding the TWU offence with 10 kills to go with nine digs and four blocks. Nicole Bazin (Winnipeg) had five kills and a match-high nine blocks while Amber Brown (Three Hills, Alta.) had eight kills along with a match-high three aces and a team-high 14 digs. French had a career-high 45 assists as well as five kills. French set her previous high of 43 earlier this year against Brandon Jan. 12.
For Manitoba, who was again playing without outside hitter Rachel Cockrell (Winnipeg), it was Taylor Pischke (Winnipeg) leading with a team-high 18 kills as well as two aces and four blocks. Crystal Mulder (Winnipeg) added nine kills while libero Nicole Hall had a match-high 17 digs. Setter Christina Souza (Brasilia, Brazil) had 38 assists.
The win keeps the Spartans perfect home record alive as they have now earned victories in all nine matches at the LEC this season.
“I think we did a really good job of managing the ball off of their serve,” Hofer said. “It was one of our better passing nights and we needed that because they’re a good blocking team and they’re a great defensive team. We needed to be in system more than they were tonight.
“Kristen (Moncks, Standard, Alta.) passed exceptionally well. Amy was solid for us again, just playing well in the back row and blocking well and then just crushing on important balls. I was really impressed with Amy’s serve this weekend. She’s taken it to another level. And then Kelci did well distributing the ball and keeping Manitoba off balance.”
The teams traded points early in the first set but it was the Spartans taking control just before the set hit double-digits. With the score knotted 8-8, TWU went on a 5-1 run that gave the home side a 13-9 edge and one it wouldn’t surrender. However, the Bisons never went away, battling back to make it a one-point game three times, but ultimately were unable to tie it up. A Pischke block got Manitoba to within two at 24-22, but a subsequent missed serve by the Bisons handed TWU the first set.
The Spartans carried the lead for much of the first set, but with the TWU up 22-19, the Bisons started clawing their way back. Manitoba earned five of the next six points, which gave Manitoba a chance at set point, at 24-23. The Spartans responded with a 3-1 run to give them a shot at set point, up 26-25. But that’s when Manitoba finally sealed the deal. The pair of Spartans attack errors gave Manitoba a chance to serve for the set and Pischke ended it with a service ace.
In the third set, a close contest turned TWU’s way after back-to-back kills from Perrin gave the Spartans a 15-11 lead. But Manitoba came right back with a 5-1 run, capped by a block from Miranda Schmidt (Winnipeg) and Mulder that tied the contest 16-16. The Bisons twice took a lead, but after going ahead 20-19, the Spartans came back and, with four straight points, took the lead for good. With TWU up 23-22, Perrin got her seventh kill of the set, which was followed by a roll shot kill from Brown that gave the Spartans the win.
The fourth set started in TWU’s favour with four straight points and the Spartans never let up. Manitoba got three in a row to make it 4-3 but after that, TWU didn’t allow the Bisons any closer. The Spartans built their lead to as much as nine points, at 14-5. Then, after Manitoba put together a short run to make it 21-16, the Spartans scored the final four points to take the set by nine.
The Spartans will travel to Calgary next weekend to play Mount Royal Jan. 25-26. Manitoba returns home to play Regina Jan. 26-27.
Game Notes: TWU had a hitting percentage of .168 while Manitoba hit .125…TWU had a 15.5-11 advantage in blocks…TWU had a 5-3 edge in aces.