Spartans Beat Alberta in Five in Regular Season Finale

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February 10, 2013, Edmonton, AB (ISN) – The No. 2 Trinity Western women’s volleyball team earned a five-set win on the road over No. 7 Alberta to cap its regular season Saturday night at the Saville Community Sports Centre.

A day after seeing their eight-game winning streak snapped by the Pandas in a four-set outing, the Spartans responded with an emotional win that sends them into the post-season on a high.

The Spartans, who finished the regular season at 19-3 and second in the conference, will host Calgary in the Canada West quarter-finals Feb. 14, 15 and, if necessary, 16 at the Langley Events Centre.

Alberta, who finished with a 15-7 record and third overall, will host Manitoba Feb. 15, 16 and, if necessary, 17.

As a team, TWU had an attacking percentage of .195 while Alberta was .188 hitting percentage. Trinity Western managed 64 kills to Alberta’s 53.

The Spartans were paced Amber Brown (Three Hills, Alta.) and Carly Hamilton (Calgary), who each had 14 kills while Amy Ott (East Selkirk, Man.) added 12 and Alicia Perrin (Creston, B.C.) chipped in with 11. Hamilton and Brown were also notably lethal from the service line as Hamilton dropped five aces on the Pandas, while Brown added four. Combined, they picked up nine of TWU’s 11 aces on the evening. Setter Kelci French (Okotoks, Alta.) had a match-high 46 assists.

Jaki Ellis, in her final home conference game of her career, made history as she became the first player in Canada West women’s volleyball to record 2,000 career regular season assists and 500 career regular season kills. The Mississauga born athlete led Alberta in kills with 18, while also chalking up four aces, 12 digs and 18 assists. Ellis also owns the Canada West record for career regular season aces.

The Pandas also got a combined 20 kills from rookies Kacey Otto, who had 12, and Karly Janssen, who had eight. Alyssa Jones, also playing in her final home conference game, picked up 28 assists and 11 digs on the night. Lia Stang, Amy Kowalchuk and Krista Zubick were also making their final regular season appearances in the gym at the SCSC.

“It was a really exciting match tonight and I thought the girls did a great job of rebounding from yesterday,” said Spartans coach Ryan Hofer. “Kelci French set an outstanding match. Her locations and decisions really brought a lot to the floor and made the players around her better. Our middles had a significant game and we served them really tough. It was an opportunity to learn and get better and I’m sure we’ll see that team again.”

After winning the fourth set 25-21, Alberta jumped out to a quick lead in the fifth courtesy a Stang solo block. But, within moments, the Spartans were ahead 6-3, which then flipped to an 8-6 Pandas’ advantage at the technical time out. After switching sides, TWU jumped back in front, this time for good. At 13-12, Spartan setter French made the shot of the match when she leapt to set the ball, but switched gears and instead cracked a perfect cross-court kill into the far right corner of the Pandas court. Then, after a great rally, TWU was able to win the match with a kill by Hamilton off Alberta’s block.

Game Notes: Both teams had 12 blocks each…TWU had a 64-63 edge in digs.