Brown Sparks Spartans to Four-Set Win Over Calgary

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February 2, 2013, Langley, BC (ISN) – Led by Amber Brown (Three Hills, Alta.), who had a career-high 14 kills, five of which came in the fourth set.  The No. 2 Trinity Western women’s volleyball team managed to outshine the Calgary Dinos Friday night.

The No. 2 Trinity Western women’s volleyball team earned a 3-1 (25-19, 17-25, 25-19, 25-17) win over Calgary Friday at the Langley Events Centre.

The win keeps the Spartans (17-2) perfect at home, as they are now 10-0 at the LEC in Canada West league play. The Dinos (9-10) are now 0-5 in matches at the LEC.

After the Dinos tied the match with a second-set win, TWU put the visitors away with a pair of wins in which the Spartans, on both occasions, broke open tight sets with late game-turning runs. In the fourth set, with TWU up 17-16, and Calgary in the midst of a comeback, a monster kill from Brown off the left side sparked a 6-0 run that gave the Spartans a lead they would take the rest of the way.

Brown’s kill total bettered her previous career-high of 13, which she earned three times this season.

After Brown, who also had seven digs and four blocks, the Spartans were led by Alicia Perrin (Creston, B.C.), who had 12 kills and six blocks, while Amy Ott (East Selkirk, Man.) had seven kills, two aces and six digs. Setter Kelci French (Okotoks, Alta.) had a match-high 39 assists to go with two aces, four blocks and six digs. Libero Kristen Moncks (Standard, Alta.) had a team-high 11 digs.

Calgary was led by Lindsey Doland (Calgary), who had 11 kills along with two blocks, while Courtney Dawson (Calgary) had nine kills, a match-high eight blocks and, six digs. Setter Jordhynn Guy (Calgary) had 25 assists as well as 12 digs and four blocks. Libero Brooke Halvorsen (White Rock, B.C.) had a match-high 13 digs.

“Calgary came with the team we expected,” said Spartans coach Ryan Hofer. “They have the capacity to put a lot of pressure on you. They’re very offensive attacking-wise and they’re a great blocking team. So, we had to learn how to score points. We had to find seems and gaps and just play really scrappy volleyball.

“In that second set, we just made too many unforced errors, plus they did some outstanding things. We had to start containing their hitters and stay aggressive. That’s how we got the first set and once we did that, we were successful in the third and fourth sets.”

In the first set, the Spartans raced out to a 10-3 lead and held at least a three-point lead the rest of the set. With TWU up 19-11, the Dinos rallied with a 6-1 run that forced the Spartans into taking a timeout. After the timeout, the teams traded points until 22-19, but then TWU took over down the stretch. With kills from Ott and Brown, followed by a tandem block from Brown and Perrin, the Spartans took the set 25-19. The Dinos had a 3-2 edge in blocks and a 3-1 advantage in aces, but the Spartans .276 hitting percentage, compared to Calgary’s .133, proved the difference.

However, in the second set, the Dinos turned the tables on the Spartans. With TWU up 5-2, the Dinos went on a 9-2 run, capped by a Doland kill that give the visitors a 12-7 advantage. The Spartans took a timeout to slow Calgary momentum, but the closest they could get was three points, at 13-10. From there, Calgary, hitting .323 in the set, finished the set in dominant fashion, scoring the final four points to take the set by eight. Just like the first set, Calgary had a 3-2 edge in blocks and a 3-1 advantage in aces. Trinity Western hit just 0.79.

The third set was a game of wild swings. Trinity Western took a quick 9-4 lead only to have Calgary respond with an 8-2 run that gave Dinos a 12-11 edge and forced the Spartans into a timeout. Out of the break, TWU came roaring right back with an 8-1 run, largely with Ott serving, to give the Spartans a 19-13 lead. But, not to be outdone, Calgary responded with a 7-1 run, capped by a Dawson kill, to once again make it a one-point game, with TWU up 20-19. Appropriately, given the run of the set, TWU came back with five straight points to take set 25-19. It was Ott winning a joust at the net that gave the Spartans the win.

After Calgary opened an 8-4 lead in the fourth set, the Spartans took off on what would be a 10-1 run to take a lead they wouldn’t relinquish. With a Perrin kill sparking the momentum swing, the home side built a 14-9 lead. But, as had been the case all night, Calgary didn’t go away without a fight, rallying to get back to within one point, at 17-16. But Brown’s kill to make it 18-16 gave TWU its first of six straight points and, this time, Calgary couldn’t rally. After that, the Spartans hung to earn the eight-point win and take the match.

“Once Amber got that kill, which was set by our libero (Moncks), it brought us a lot of momentum,” Perrin said. “For Kristen to get a really good set and a huge kill off of that, it was massive. And from there, we rode that momentum the rest of the way.”

The two teams will meet in a rematch today at 5 p.m. at the Langley Events Centre.

Game Notes: The Spartans were playing without Royal Richardson (Rocky Mountain House, Alta.) while the Dinos were without Sarah Moncks (Standard, Alta.)…TWU hit .183 while Calgary finished at .118…both teams had nine blocks…TWU had a 7-6 edge in aces.