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Feb 27, 2015

Photo credit Josh Schaefer Photography

SASKATOON (CIS) – The No. 5 seeded Trinity Western University Spartans will return to the CIS Men’s Volleyball Championship final for the fourth time in six seasons after a 3-1 (28-26, 25-27, 25-17, 26-24) win over the No. 1 seeded McMaster University Marauders Friday night at the Physical Activity Complex in Saskatoon.

Post-game coaches interviews

With the win, the Spartans return to the championship final for the first time since 2012. Trinity Western won back-to-back titles in 2011 and 2012 and appeared in the final in 2010. The 2015 version will feature a rematch of the Canada West Championship final with the Alberta Golden Bears.

“We were hoping we’d get through the quarter-final and we finally did,” said Trinity Western head coach Ben Josephson, whose team lost in the last two championships in the first round. “The Marauders have been No. 1 all year. We had to play the perfect game to beat them and we did as close to executing that as we could. The weaponry on the other side of the net is impossible to deal with and I think we got enough lucky chances to do that.”

McMaster returns to the bronze medal match for the second straight season, facing Dalhousie, who lost to Alberta in the first semifinal on Friday.

“Clearly this was not the result we were looking for,” said Marauders head coach Dave Preston. “Our student-athletes are really invested and this is obviously disappointing. Fundamentally, we weren’t sound enough. We didn’t accomplish what we wanted. TWU was very good and they put us under pressure from the baseline. It was everything we could do to get what we did.”

CIS MVP Nicholas Del bianco led the Spartans in the win tallying a match-high 15 kills, while fellow outside hitter Ryan Sclater added another 12 in the match. Tyler Koslowsky led the team with 12 digs.

CIS First Team All-Canadian Danny Demyanenko led the Marauders in the loss recording 14 kills, while Alex Elliot added 13 and Jori Mantha another 12. Pawel Jedrzejewski had 10 digs for McMaster.

McMaster led 21-18 in the first set before TWU’s Adam Schriemer sparked a four-point comeback to give the Spartans a 22-21 lead. A block by Mantha tied the set at 22 and the teams matched each other until a TWU Schriemer block put the Spartans ahead 27-26. Del bianco ended the set 28-26 on an attack the Marauders couldn’t dig up.

The Marauders turned the tables on the Spartans in the second set with a 6-4 run to close the set 27-25. Mantha tied the set at 22 for the Marauders and gave his team the lead on the next play. After service errors put the Spartans up 25-24, a Demyanenko attack and a Brandon Kloppers block put the Marauders at set point. A Sclater attack sailed off blocks for the Marauder win in the set.

Two Mantha kills cut the Spartans four-point lead to two at 19-17 in the third set. Branden Schmidt started a six-point run for the Spartans to win the set 25-17. In the run, Schmidt tallied a kill and 1.5 blocks and Blake Scheerhoorn had an ace.

Trading points back-and-forth throughout the fourth set, the teams sat tied eight times. After a Sclater attack error tied the set at 24 for the Marauders, Trinity Western closed the set with a Del bianco attack and a block by Sclater and Schriemer.

First serve in the championship final is 7 p.m. (CST), while the bronze medal match is slated for 4 p.m. (CST).


Trinity Western
Kills: Nicholas Del bianco (15), Ryan Sclater (12)
Points: Nicholas Del bianco (16.5)
Blocks: Branden Schmidt (3)
Digs: Tyler Koslowsky (12)
Service aces: Blake Scheerhoorn, Ryan Sclater, Branden Schmidt (2)

Player of the match: Nicholas Del bianco

Kills: Danny Demyanenko (14), Alex Elliott (13), Jori Mantha (12)
Points: Danny Demyanenko (17.5)
Blocks: Danny Demyanenko (3.5)
Digs: Pawel Jedrzejewski (10)
Service aces: Alex Elliot (2)

Player of the match: Alex Elliot


Thursday, February 26
13:00 Quarter-final #1: No. 2 Dalhousie 3, No. 7 York 2 (25-23, 25-19, 25-27, 16-25, 15-13)
15:00 Quarter-final #2: No. 3 Alberta 3, No. 6 Waterloo 0 (25-14, 25-12, 25-22)
18:00 Quarter-final #3: No. 5 Trinity Western 3, No. 4 Laval 0 (25-14, 25-14, 25-19)
20:00 Quarter-final #4: No. 1 McMaster 3, No. 8 Saskatchewan 0 (26-24, 25-20, 25-18)

Friday, February 27
13:00 Consolation #1: York 3, Waterloo 2 (25-20, 22-25, 25-16, 23-25, 16-14)
15:00 Consolation #2: Saskatchewan 3, Laval 1 (19-25, 26-24, 25-15, 25-14)
18:00 Semifinal #1: Alberta 3, Dalhousie 0 (25-22, 25-21, 25-19)
20:00 Semifinal #2: Trinity Western 3, McMaster 1 (28-26, 25-27, 25-17, 26-24)

Saturday, February 28
14:00 5th place: York vs. Saskatchewan (
16:00 Bronze medal: Dalhousie vs McMaster (
19:00 Championship final: Trinity Western vs Alberta (