Trinity Western women’s volleyball team picked up its first home win

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LANGLEY, British Columbia – The No. 3 Trinity Western women’s volleyball team picked up its first home win of their season as the Spartans prevailed over the Winnipeg Wesmen 3-0 (25-20, 25-17, 25-23) in what was their first home game back at the David E. Enarson Gym since 2012.

The defending CIS and Canada West gold medallists found good rhythm in all three sets, with fourth-year Sophie Carpentier (Ottawa) leading the team with 19 kills and setter Nikki Cornwall (Coquitlam, B.C.) adding 38 assists to help the Spartans (3-0) continue their strong start to the season.

Playing in front of a boisterous home crowd at their old on-campus gym, TWU came out with aggression early on and never really slowed. The Wesmen (0-3) pushed back in the third set, but TWU closed it out late to finish the contest in the minimum.

The Spartans have now earned eight straight three-set wins over Winnipeg and have won 21 consecutive matches over the Wesmen.

“I thought we had some very nice glimpses of what we can do,” said Spartans coach Ryan Hofer. “We started building in the first set and the second set was really good for us. In the third we struggled a little bit and Winnipeg was also playing better and with that, I thought it was a pretty good back and forth final set.”

After battling injuries for the better part of her first two years with TWU, Rowyn Neufeld (Richmond, B.C.) played her first home game as a Spartan and proved to be a crucial player, most notably in the second set with a six-point serving run. Libero Mariel Garcia (Winnipeg), who was playing in her first home game as a Spartan since transferring from Manitoba, had a match-high 13 digs.

“Rowyn was an outstanding server for us,” Hofer said. “She did an exceptional job from the baseline and putting pressure on our opponent, which gave us an opportunity to score points. Sophie was big for us and took a lot of volume and Mariel played great defence and Elly (Wendel, Caronport, Sask.) got her kills as well.”

Ozana Nikolic had a team-high 13 kills while for Winnipeg while Tia Boroski added six kills. Setter Jayme Menzies had 22 assists.

The first set was a great opener for the Spartans, as they won with a five-point cushion. Carpentier led the team in kills with eight while Wendel came in with five kills.

The Spartans pulled away early in the second set and never relented. Neufeld led TWU on a serving run that took the Spartans lead to 13-4. Improving their hitting percentage.257 in the first set to .333 in the second, TWU earned an eight-point win.

The Wesmen came back with force in the third set, challenging the Spartans up until the very last point when TWU won 25-23. At the 17-16 mark, Kristin Anton (Prince George, B.C.) placed a kill that would break the Wesmen’s lead and give the Spartans a chance to find their step again. With the score at 23-23, Carpentier notched her 19th kill of the set to give TWU a shot at match-point and then a Winnipeg attacking error put an end to the night.

The TWU women’s volleyball team continues its regular season schedule tomorrow night, at the David E. Enarson Gym at 5 pm, against the Wesmen.

Game Notes: TWU hit .206 as a team while Winnipeg hit .067…Winnipeg had a 7-2 edge in blocks…TWU had a 5-3 advantage in aces…TWU has a 24-9 all-time record against the Wesmen in the regular season…The last time the Wesmen beat the Spartans was Nov. 13, 2004 when they won a five-setter in Winnipeg.

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