Spartans earn road sweep over No. 4 Bisons

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November 29, 2013, WINNIPEG (ISN) – Led by Sophie Carpentier (Ottawa), who had 21 kills on the night, the No. 5 Trinity Western women’s volleyball team knocked off No. 4 Manitoba 3-0 (28-26, 25-16, 28-26) Friday at the Investors Group Athletic Centre.

After taking the first two sets, the Spartans trailed 11-1 in the third set, but rallied to win in impressive fashion, taking the final set 28-26. The Bisons were up 24-20 and looked on the verge of forcing a fourth set, but TWU responded and earned five straight points, including two aces, to take its first lead of the set 25-24. Then on the Spartans third attempt at match-point, TWU’s Alicia Perrin (Creston, B.C.) slammed a cross-court winner to cap the comeback and win the match.

The Spartans (7-4) have now won five of their last six outings and seven of their last nine. They have also won three in a row at Manitoba. The loss drops the Bisons to 6-5.

Along with Carpentier’s efforts, the return of Perrin from injury played a major role in the victory as she had 10 kills while earning a .471 hitting percentage and also collecting eight digs. Casie Gano (Sundre, Alta.) also played a critical role as she had a career-high nine blocks. Her previous best was seven, which she earned twice earlier this year.

For the home side, Rachel Cockrell had a game-high 23 kills and five digs while Taylor Pischke had nine kills and nine digs and Caleigh Dobie added 15 digs. Setter Brittany Habing notched 39 assists, six blocks and six digs.

The Spartans had 15.5 team blocks while Manitoba had seven. Trinity Western also had 10 service aces.

“We just tried to make Manitoba make plays off our serves and see how they would handle it,” said Spartans coach Ryan Hofer. “It was huge to win that third set but tomorrow is a new day and (Bisons coach) Ken Bentley will have the team prepared for the next match as they are a great team. We must be ready for another challenge tomorrow.”

The first set was back and forth throughout as neither team had anything more than a three-point lead. With the score tied 26-26, Carpentier earned a kill to give the Spartans a chance at set point. On the next rally, a Bisons attack sailed long and TWU took the set 28-26.

The second set was all TWU and they led from start to finish as they used precise serving to gain easy points and never allowed the Bisons to rally. A kill from Perrin gave TWU the set by nine points.

Both teams meet again Saturday at 5 p.m. CT.

Game Notes: TWU hit .209 as a team while Manitoba hit .143…Perrin was playing in her first match since Nov. 15 against Calgary.

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