Spartans strong in straight sets

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November 29, 2013, WINNIPEG (ISN) – The No. 2 Trinity Western Spartans were impressive in their straight set men’s volleyball road victory against the No. 6 Manitoba Bisons Friday night at Investors Group Athletic Centre on the U of Manitoba campus in Winnipeg.

In a solid and efficient 25-20, 25-19, 25-17 win by the visitors from Langley, B.C., Trinity Western has now won three in a row and moved their record to 10-1 while Manitoba fell to 5-6 in Canada West conference play this season.

Spartans head coach Ben Josephson said after the contest, “We tried to put pressure on them on a variety of shots against a super young and talented team. The Bisons might have been underrated at the beginning of the season but they are not now and we wanted to play to our standard and ability tonight. Tomorrow is another night and we absolutely expect them to be up for the challenge.”

For the Spartans, Nicolas Del Bianco had 13 kills on .500 hitting percentage while Brad Kufske added 11 kills (on .500 hitting percentage) with four digs. Setter Adam Schriemer added 26 assists with six digs. Kevin Falconer led the Bisons with eight kills and six digs while Adam DeJonckheere with seven kills and six digs. Setter Trevor Klassen, presented during the match with the Bison men’s volleyball – Dr. Dale Iwanoczko Memorial Scholarship recipient for 2013-14, registered 26 assists and five digs in the loss. The Spartans led Manitoba in team attack at 40.3 percent to 14.7 percent.

The Spartans lived up to their number two billing in the country as they cruised to the three set victory with strong play on both the offence and defence. The young Bison team had rallied for four of their five conference victories in five sets but could not pull off the feat tonight as Trinity Western would not allow a glimmer of hope in all three sets.

In the first, after a tight 11-11 start, TWU pushed ahead with kills by Del Bianco and built up a five point lead at 20-15 and held that advantage to the end of the set.

It was more of the same in the second as the home side was down early at 7-3, 12-6 and 16-9 at the technical timeout. Manitoba rallied after the timeout to squeeze to a four point deficit, 21-17, before the experienced Spartans exerted their strength with kills by Kufske at the end and a 25-19 margin.

In the third, Manitoba was down 16-10 at the timeout and could not close the gap as Trinity Western had all the momentum and walked away with a 25-17 set and match after the third set.

Both teams meet again tomorrow Sat., Nov. 30 at 7 p.m. CT on the same court at the IGAC.

Match Notes: TWU finished the night with 5.5 blocks, while Manitoba finished with four…since dropping their only match of the season 3-2 to Calgary, the Spartans have won nine straight sets in three straight victories…TWU currently has a 32 to 7 set advantage…

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