EDMONTON – The Trinity Western University Spartans defeated the MacEwan University Griffins, 3-0, tonight at the City Centre Campus gymnasium, in Edmonton, Alberta. The Spartans, currently ranked second in the CIS Top Ten poll, improved their Canada West regular season record to 10-0, and now have won 22 straight CIS regular and post season matches dating back to last January, 2015.
The Griffins record stands at 3-7 as they will travel next weekend to Pointe Grey, BC to face the UBC Thunderbirds, in the final two regular season contests before the holiday break. While TWU will host the University of Saskatchewan this weekend.
The set scores were 25-17, 25-14 and 25-11 for TWU.
“We were very good tonight, we had a really nice team effort and I am very pleased with our performance,” commented TWU head coach Ryan Hofer. “Very impressed with the offence that Nikki ran tonight. She distributed the ball well and ran a balanced offence which allowed everyone to hit at different gaps and everyone just executed, which put a lot of pressure on MacEwan.”
Statistically the Spartans played a well-balanced match for Coach Ryan Hofer. Outside Rowyn Neufeld (Richmond, B.C.) and middle Katelyn Devaney (Port Coquitlam, B.C.) each recorded nine kills, Neufeld and outside Elizabeth Wendel (Caronport, Sask.) each led TWU with 10 digs veteran setter Nikki Cornwall (Coquitlam, B.C.) added 28 assists in their 10th win of the season.
The defending CIS national champions came out strong tonight and quickly established themselves winning the first set by using an early nine point run to take a 9-2 lead before MacEwan University’s head coach Ken Briggs called a time out to settle the team. The Griffins played a more competitive second half to the first set but would eventually lose it by a score of 25-17.
TWU continued to dominate in the second set, under the leadership of MacEwan University’s Jasey Hook, a third year nursing major, from Edmonton, AB, the Griffins generated four straight points on serves that seem to rally her teammates. The Griffins would win eight of the next nine points in the middle set before, TWU’s experience overwhelmed the young team and TWU would win the middle set by a score of 25-14.
In the third set, Coach Briggs gave his first year players a taste of the CIS and let several players gain valuable experience against the Spartans, who won the third set by a score of 25-11. Again the majority of offense came off serves by Hook, who, recorded four kills and three digs for the Griffins. “They came out and showed us why they are the defending national champions. Our inexperience showed in the first set,” said Hook.
“It was nice to see some of our younger players gain valued experience, it also gives the starters a different view of the match from the bench,” said Hook on seeing the rookies play in the third set.
Match Notes: In Canada West conference play the Spartans have now won seven matches with a 3-0 final… TWU’s last loss, 3-2, was January 23, 2015 at UBC…since October 31, 2014 the Spartans have a record of 33-1…TWU joined the CIS in 1999 and lost 42 straight matches to start their Canada West tenure…