by Lindsay Franco
March 1, 2014, CALGARY (ISN) – The No. 3 Trinity Western Spartans ended their season on a high note, defeating the No. 4 Dalhousie Tigers 3-1 (22-25, 25-18, 25-12, 25-15) for fifth place on the final day of the CIS Men’s Volleyball Championship.
CHAMPIONSHIP WEBSITE: http://english.cis-sic.ca/championships/mvball/index
The Spartans were led once again by rookie Blake Scheerhoorn who had a game-high 16 kills. Second-year Ryan Sclater followed that up with 14 kills of his own. Veteran Nicholas Del Bianco added 12 kills and eight digs for Trinity Western in the win. Spartans head coach Ben Josephson was happy with his team’s play following a less than stellar first set.
“Slow start for us, they had a pretty good plan, our reception wasn’t great, but then our reception got better and theirs got worse. I’m sure coach Ota said the same thing about serve and pass and whoever wins that usually has the advantage. Once they were off the net we were able to get a good thing going and our offence started to clean up and we got the right opportunities.:”
Both teams tried to find their rhythm early on and in the first, the score remained tied at nine before the Tigers took the first significant lead of the match. They headed into the technical timeout up 16-11. It wasn’t until after the break that the Spartans began to try and close the gap, gaining some momentum and feeding off of it. Despite that, Dalhousie continued to show strength on offence regaining their lead and holding on for the first set win by a score of 25-22.
In the second, Dalhousie was forced to call an early timeout as the Spartans began rolling on offence. It was to no avail as they lead at the technical timeout, 16-12, and never looked back. The Tigers were unable to tie the game up and Trinity Western went on to tie the match up at one set a piece with a 25-18 win.
>From there, the Spartans cruised to the victory, taking the third 25-12, and the fourth 25-15. In Josephson’s eyes, it was in part due to their bench players that stepped up and came up big.
“After our loss in the quarterfinal, we played the last two games largely with kids who are going to be on the team next year, so it was good to get experience on this court in this venue and get a sense of what national championships feel like. They’ve been working hard all year so it was nice to see them all working together. We’re really excited about our young kids and it was fun to watch them play together.”
For the Tigers, Kristen O’Brien was named the Player of the Match for his team-high 13 kills. Jonathan MacDonald recorded 26 assists and seven digs. Head coach Ken Ota believes the experience was invaluable for his players, despite the results.
“Our guys were fighting through it, but unfortunately we were unable to execute the basics of the game today and it haunted us on Thursday as well. Regardless it was a good season and I’m glad our guys had this opportunity. It’s a tough tournament to win and it’s been a real positive experience even though our guys didn’t play their best today.”
The AUS’s Dalhousie Tigers will finish in sixth overall, while the Trinity Western Spartans take fifth, a step up from their sixth place finish last season.
Kills: Blake Scheerhoorn (16), Ryan Sclater (14)
Points: Blake Scheerhoorn (17), Ryan Sclater (16.5)
Blocks: Branden Schmidt (3.5)
Digs: Tyler Koslowsky (12), Nicholas Del Bianco (8) Service aces: Daniel Grant, Ryan Sclater, Branden Schmidt (1)
Player of the match: Branden Schmidt
Kills: Kristen O’Brien (13), Alex Dempsey (7)
Points: Kristen O’Brien (14.5), Alex Dempsey (9.5)
Blocks: Connor Maessen (2)
Digs: Jonathan MacDonald, Alex Dempsey, Logan Baillie (7) Service aces: Alex Dempsey (2), Matthew Donovan (1)
Player of the match: Kristen O’Brien
CHAMPIONSHIP SCHEDULE (all times MOUNTAIN TIME)
Thursday, February 27
- 12:30 Quarter-final #1: Laval 3, Dalhousie 0 (25-16, 25-18, 25-22)
- 14:30 Quarter-final #2: Alberta 3, Montreal 0 (25-19, 25-18, 25-12)
- 18:00 Quarter-final #3: Western 3, Trinity Western 2 (25-21, 22-25, 19-25, 27-25, 15-12)
- 20:00 Quarter-final #4: McMaster 3, Calgary 1 (24-26, 25-21, 25-17, 25-22)
Friday, February 28
- 12:30 Consolation #1: Dalhousie 3, Montreal 2 (25-17, 27-29, 16-25, 25-23, 15-13)
- 14:30 Consolation #2: Trinity Western 3, Calgary 1 (19-25, 26-24, 25-16, 25-22)
- 18:00 Semifinal #1: Alberta 3, Laval 1 (25-19, 23-25, 25-23, 25-23)
- 20:00 Semifinal #2: Western 3, McMaster 1 (25-23, 17-25, 30-28, 25-20)
Saturday, March 1
- 13:00 Fifth-place: Trinity Western 3, Dalhousie 1 (22-25, 25-18, 25-12, 25-15)
- 15:00 No. 2 McMaster vs. No. 5 Laval (www.CIS-SIC.tv)
- 18:00 No. 1 Alberta vs. No. 6 Western (www.CIS-SIC.tv)