Key matchup for No. 5 TWU Spartans as they host No. 4 UBC Okanagan

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by Mark Janzen

January 15, 2014, LANGLEY, British Columbia (ISN) – Following a home weekend in which the No. 5 Trinity Western women’s volleyball won both of its matches in three sets over Mount Royal, the Spartans are right back at the Langley Events Centre this weekend when they take on No. 4 UBC Okanagan Friday at 6 p.m. and Saturday at 5 p.m.

Both matches will be streamed live at twu.canadawest.tv.

The Spartans enters Friday’s match having won five matches in a row while UBCO is coming off a weekend series against No. 1 UBC in which it lost 3-1 and 3-0.

TRINITY WESTERN SPARTANS (10-4) 

  • CIS ranking: No. 5
  • Canada West standings: 3rd (tied)
  • Last weekend: Mount Royal 3-0 W, 3-0 W
  • Streak: 5 wins

Canada West Stats

  • Hitting Percentage: .192 (5th)
  • Opponent Hitting Percentage: .121 (2nd)
  • Assists: 11.62/set (4th)
  • Kills: 12.31/set (4th)
  • Blocks: 3.56/set (1st)
  • Aces: 1.62/set (5th)
  • Digs: 14.71/set (3rd)

SHORT AND SWEET

The Spartans have not only been winning recently, but they’ve been winning in emphatic fashion. Last weekend against Mount Royal, the Spartans held the Cougars to 20 or fewer points in all six sets and three times held them to just 15 points. TWU has also earned four of its last six match wins in just three sets. 

BLOCKING BASH CONTINUES

Already leading Canada West and the CIS in blocks, the Spartans improved their season average with an impressive showing last weekend that saw TWU collect 15 blocks on back-to-back nights. Earning five blocks per set, the Spartans increased their season average to 3.56 blocks per set. With 185 blocks, TWU has 26 more than its nearest CIS foe, Montreal. 

POINT PRODUCTION

To this point in the season, the Spartans have scored the most points amongst all 37 teams in the CIS. With 909 points in 52 sets, TWU sits atop the CIS and 4.5 points ahead of No. 1 ranked UBC. As for points per set, TWU is averaging 17.5, which has it third in the country behind Ottawa (18.0 points/set in 45 sets) and UBC (17.7 points/set in 51 sets).

PLAYERS TO WATCH

  • Casie Gano – The fourth-year middle has found her stride of late, as she averaging 2.56 blocks per set over TWU’s last five matches. She has earned 10 blocks in three of those last five matches and has a total of 47 blocks over that span. She is now third in Canada West in blocks with 1.59/set. She also leads the nation in total blocks with 81.
  • Sophie Carpentier – In her second year with TWU, Carpentier has had a breakout season. She is currently third in the conference and fourth in the country in both points, with 4.54/set, and kills, with 3.85/set. She is also fourth in Canada West in aces with 0.42/set.
  • Lauren Moncks – After splitting setting duties with first-year Nikki Cornwall in the first semester, Moncks took the reins to open the second half of the season and guided TWU to back-to-back three-set wins. She collected 47 assists over the two matches and also had 13 digs and six blocks.

UBC OKANAGAN HEAT (10-4)

  • CIS ranking: No. 4
  • Canada West standings: 3rd (tied)
  • Last weekend: UBC 3-1 L, 3-0 L
  • Streak: 2 losses

Canada West Stats

  • Hitting Percentage: .199 (3rd)
  • Opponent Hitting Percentage: .136 (3rd)
  • Assists: 11.60/set (5th)
  • Kills: 12.20/set (5th)
  • Blocks: 2.71/set (2nd)
  • Aces: 1.64/set (4th)
  • Digs: 15.33/set (2nd)

ON THE RISE

The Heat finished the first semester with an impressive 10-2 mark and No. 6 in the CIS, which was the highest the women’s volleyball team had ever been ranked since joining the CIS in 2011. From there, UBCO went on to win a tournament in Barbados that featured four CIS schools, including current No. 3 Montreal, who the Heat beat in the final. The Heat’s performance in Barbados helped move the team up to No. 3 in the CIS Week 8 rankings. While the Heat did lose twice to No. 1 UBC to start the second semester, it’s quickly proving to be amongst the best teams in the country.

SECOND ON THE BLOCK

While TWU leads the conference and the CIS in blocks, the Heat isn’t far behind, as its 2.71 blocks per set is second in Canada West and third in the country. Katy Klomps leads the Heat in blocks and is second in Canada West, behind TWU first-year Katelyn Devaney, with 1.60/set.

FOUR SETS OR LESS

Through 14 regular season matches this year, UBCO has yet to play a fifth set. Having played just 45 sets this season, the Heat has played the second fewest sets of any team in Canada West. In its 10 wins, UBCO has won nine matches in just three sets. In its four losses, the Heat has lost twice in three sets and twice in four sets.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

  • Katy Klomps – The third-year Klomps is second only to TWU’s Casie Gano in total blocks with 72 and is also third in Canada West in hitting percentage at .352. Her 17 solo blocks has her tied with Saskatchewan’s Kayla Tycholiz for the conference lead.
  • Lenai Schmidt – The fourth-year UBCO libero is third in Canada West in digs with 3.79/set. She had a season-high 24 digs in a three-set match against Winnipeg Nov. 23.
  • Kaitlynn Given – Given leads the Heat in kills per set with 2.89 and is second on the team in aces with 13. She is also second only to libero Schmidt in digs with 2.67/set.

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